When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a large part of their self-worth. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.
People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
The troubling connection between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is typically 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 use all of their marketable expertise.
In nearly any career, people with neglected hearing loss experience many challenges. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker has 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.
Many individuals work their whole lives in one line of work. They become very good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all have the tendency to experience a significant wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar somebody with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that reveal that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in income every year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Deal With?
Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than somebody with functional hearing.
Being unable to hear causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture needing to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something significant.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the challenges 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 a silver lining.
A Career Approach That Works
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can erase the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of someone with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They may feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may think that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. They probably don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems discussed above.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more expensive than you know. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.