During the normal working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their job. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.
When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It most likely has something to do with 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 if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.
The troubling connection between job 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 underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work doesn’t make use of all of their marketable expertise.
In nearly any career, people with untreated hearing loss face many difficulties. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Lots of people remain in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it very well. 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 Impairment
Someone with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.
The severity of hearing loss is closely correlated with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Challenges do Individuals With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?
Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a worry.
That’s even more stressful.
Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.
Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job concerns, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in reduced productivity. And given the challenges that a person suffering from hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Luckily, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Strategy
Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That gets them nearly up to the earning of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to look “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids might seem too costly. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing exam. Contact us and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.