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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

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

When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.

It’s not enjoyable to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you value your job, then you should take note of this career-breaker.

The troubling link between job success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that career killer.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

A person with neglected hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not using and their not earning as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

Those who have untreated hearing loss face countless challenges in nearly any occupation. Doctors need to be able to hear their 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 hard to assist library patrons without her hearing.

Many people work their whole lives in one line of work. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.

How much they lose closely correlates with the extent of the hearing loss. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.

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 somebody with normal hearing.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture being in a meeting and straining to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

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. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

Decreased productivity is the result of all this. People who have hearing loss face so many challenges, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately 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 cancel out 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 carried out by Better Hearing Institute.

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

In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids may seem too expensive. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more costly than you know. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.

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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.
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