During the standard working years, many individuals build much 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 someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s most likely to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.
That livelihood killer is the troublesome link between neglected hearing loss and career success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
Someone with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Underemployment is commonly 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 utilize all of their marketable skills.
Those with untreated hearing loss face lots of obstacles in almost any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of people stay in the same line of work their whole lives. 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 Impairment
Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.
How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing loss. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Struggles That Individuals With Hearing Loss Experience?
Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with normal hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that peers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something significant.
That’s even worse.
Those with untreated 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.
In addition to on the job concerns, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
Reduced 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 available promotion.
Fortunately, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.
A Career Strategy That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the income of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to disregard it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.
Hearing aids may seem too expensive. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more expensive than you realize. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.