When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a big part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? 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 there’s a career-buster out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.
The troubling link 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 neglected hearing impairment. 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 capabilities.
In almost any career, individuals with neglected hearing loss experience many challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.
Many people work their whole lives in one occupation. They become extremely 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 Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss
Somebody with hearing loss makes only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in income every year.
How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Someone with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.
From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something significant.
That’s even worse.
Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while on or off the job. Your ability to work is impacted.
Somebody with neglected hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job concerns, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to reduced productivity. And given the difficulties that someone with hearing loss experiences at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.
A Career Strategy That Works
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as revealed by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those 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 most likely don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns pointed out above.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.