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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the normal working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they make.

When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It probably has something to do with your job.

It’s not enjoyable to think about what you would do if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.

That career killer is the troublesome link between untreated hearing loss and career success.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected hearing loss. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not making use of and their not making as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those who have neglected hearing loss face lots of obstacles in almost any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear 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 difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals remain in the same occupation their entire lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

On top of unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to suffer a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Are Some on The Job Struggles That People With Hearing Loss Experience?

A person with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never recognize. Picture being in a meeting and straining to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an essential piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even more stressful.

Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.

In addition to on the job challenges, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:

  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the obstacles that someone suffering from hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Luckily, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.

A Career Strategy That Works

Studies also reveal that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.

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

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses 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 consideration. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more costly than you know. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Get in touch with 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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