When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a big part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they make.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-buster.
The troubling connection between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is commonly defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work doesn’t utilize all of their marketable expertise.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face lots of obstacles in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.
Many people work their whole lives in one line of work. They know it very well. If they can no longer execute that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something different.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that reveal that a person loses up to $12,000 in income every year.
How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Face?
Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than somebody with normal hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something important.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.
On top of on the job concerns, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the result of all this. And given the difficulties that someone suffering from hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Thankfully, there’s a very bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
A Career Strategy That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the earning of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.
Despite this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may think that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it advances more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns mentioned above.
These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing test. Call us and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.