During the standard working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, 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 probably has something to do with what you do for a living.
It’s not enjoyable to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
That livelihood killer is the disturbing link between untreated hearing loss and job success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. If somebody isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not using and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
In practically any career, people with neglected hearing loss face many difficulties. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.
Lots of individuals remain in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it really well. If they can no longer do that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s tough 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 significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the extent of the hearing loss. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Challenges do People With Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
A person with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day caused by job stress.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.
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. Both impact your ability to do the work.
Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job concerns, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to reduced productivity. People who have hearing loss face so many challenges, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Luckily, there’s a very bright upside to this dismal career outlook.
A Career Approach That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by wearing hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may assume that hearing aids are simply too expensive for them. They most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns discussed above.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing test. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.