During the typical working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they earn.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It most likely has something to do with your job.
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 their work pay attention.
That livelihood killer is the troublesome link between untreated hearing loss and career success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
Someone with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is typically defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work doesn’t utilize all of their marketable capabilities.
In almost any career, people with untreated hearing loss experience many difficulties. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.
Many individuals work their entire lives in one occupation. They know it really well. If they can no longer execute that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something else.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Someone with hearing loss makes only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies support this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.
The degree of hearing loss is strongly associated with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Challenges do People With Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that other workers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture needing to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a concern.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.
On top of on the job challenges, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. People with hearing loss face so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has an upside.
An Effective Career Strategy
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as revealed by a study done by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.
Despite this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may assume that hearing aids are just too costly for them. They most likely don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems pointed out above.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing exam. Call us and we can help you figure out whether hearing aids would help.