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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the standard working years, many people build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their job. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and their pay.

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 your job.

It’s not enjoyable to think about what you would do if something took your career away. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves their work perk up and listen.

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

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. 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 does not utilize all of their marketable expertise.

In nearly any occupation, 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 need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.

Many people work their whole lives in one occupation. 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 Loss

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to experience a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is supported by numerous independent studies that reveal that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in income each year.

How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing loss. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Struggles do People With Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?

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

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never recognize. Envision being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing out on an essential piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even worse.

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. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Social Isolation
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

All of this adds up to reduced productivity. People with hearing loss experience so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Luckily, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.

A Career Approach That Works

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

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be removed for a person with moderate hearing loss. 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 think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.

They may assume that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. They probably don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is neglected, it advances more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems pointed out above.

These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into account. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.

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References

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2013/02001/Hearing_Loss_Linked_to_Unemployment,_Lower_Income.2.aspx

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.