During the standard working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their job. 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’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.
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 underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected hearing loss. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not making as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
In almost any occupation, people with neglected hearing loss face many challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of individuals remain in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different job and make a respectable living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
On top of unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to experience a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
The severity of hearing loss is directly linked with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Struggles do People With Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.
Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and straining to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on a crucial 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 serious 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 neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the difficulties that a person suffering from hearing loss deals with at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has an upside.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study done by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be removed for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may think that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Call us and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.