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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a huge part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they have, and how much they earn.

What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about what you do for a living.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hindered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.

The troubling connection between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have neglected hearing impairment. Underemployment is generally 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.

In almost any occupation, individuals with untreated hearing loss face many challenges. 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 entire lives in one line of work. They know it really well. If they can no longer perform that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something else.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to experience a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that show that a person loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.

The extent of hearing loss is strongly linked with how much they lose. Even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Challenges do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?

Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an important piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even worse.

While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.

Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job challenges, of the following:

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

All of this results in decreased productivity. People with hearing loss face so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.

An Effective Career Solution

Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by up to 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the earning of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.

Despite this positive news, many individuals fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.

They may assume that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health concerns.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more expensive than you recognize. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.

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References

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2013/02001/Hearing_Loss_Linked_to_Unemployment,_Lower_Income.2.aspx

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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