When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a huge 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 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 hampered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.
The troubling link between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have neglected hearing loss. 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 does not make use of all of their marketable skills.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face many challenges in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Lots of people stay in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.
How much they lose directly correlates with the extent of the hearing loss. Even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Challenges do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with normal hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture having to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.
That’s even more stressful.
While at work or at home, 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.
In addition to on the job issues, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the obstacles that a person with hearing loss deals with at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.
Luckily, this sad career prospect has an upside.
A Career Solution That Works
Studies also reveal that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with slight hearing loss who uses hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the income of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
Hearing aids might seem too costly. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. It’s time to have a hearing test if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.