During the typical working years, many people build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and their pay.
What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with your job.
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 take note of this career-breaker.
The troubling link between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
Someone with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. 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 does not use all of their marketable capabilities.
Those with neglected hearing loss face many obstacles in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of individuals remain in the same line of work their entire lives. They become quite good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different job and make a respectable living.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
Somebody with hearing loss makes only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.
How much they lose directly correlates with the extent 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 Individuals With Hearing Loss Deal With?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a worry.
That’s even worse.
Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.
In addition to on the job concerns, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in decreased productivity. People who have 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.
Thankfully, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Strategy
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for a person with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study done by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it’s not uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids might seem too costly. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.
These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more costly than you recognize. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you figure out whether hearing aids would help.