When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a huge part of their self-worth. Their self-image is frequently based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It most likely has something to do with 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-buster out there that should make anybody 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 career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person with untreated hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work does not use all of their marketable skills.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges in almost any occupation. Doctors need to be able to hear their 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 assist library patrons without her hearing.
Many people work their entire lives in one line of work. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a respectable living.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that an individual 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 moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Deal With?
Someone 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 needing to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.
That’s even more stressful.
Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while on or off the job. Both impact your ability to do the work.
In addition to on the job challenges, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in decreased productivity. And given the difficulties that someone with hearing loss deals with at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career outlook has an upside.
A Career Approach That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by getting hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
Someone with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the income of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.
Despite this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may think that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it progresses more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems mentioned above.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more expensive than you know. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.