Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a large part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.

When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. It’s probably to tell them about what you do for a living.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-breaker.

The troubling connection between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

Someone with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work doesn’t make use of all of their marketable expertise.

In almost any career, people with neglected hearing loss experience lots of challenges. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their 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 difficult to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals remain in the same occupation their entire lives. They become very good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different career and make a decent 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 about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that show that a person loses up to $12,000 in income each year.

How much they lose closely correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. 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 Struggles That People With Hearing Loss Deal With?

Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with functional hearing.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never recognize. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something important.

That’s even more stressful.

Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while on or off the job. Your ability to work is impacted.

Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job challenges, of the following:

  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social Isolation

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

Fortunately, this sad career outlook has an upside.

An Effective Career Strategy

The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by wearing hearing aids according to some studies.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for someone with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as revealed by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning of a person in the same job with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids may seem too costly. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns discussed above.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been undecided about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.

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