During the typical working years, many individuals build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s most likely 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 there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves their work pay attention.
The troubling link between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person with untreated hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not making use of and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
Those with neglected hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any line of work. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.
Many people work their entire lives in one line of work. They become very good at what they do. If they can no longer perform that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s hard to make a living doing something different.
The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap
Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that reveal that a person loses as much as $12,000 in income each year.
The severity of hearing loss is directly correlated with how much they lose. 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 Experience?
Someone with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.
Being unable to hear causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine needing to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. And missing out on a crucial piece of information is always a concern.
That’s even more stressful.
Those with neglected 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 challenges, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to reduced productivity. People with hearing loss face so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Fortunately, there’s a very bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as revealed by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to disregard it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids may seem too expensive. They probably don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems discussed above.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more costly than you recognize. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you figure out whether hearing aids would help.