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 their pay.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with your job.
It’s not enjoyable to consider what you would do if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
That career killer is the disturbing link between untreated hearing loss and career success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated 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 make use of all of their marketable capabilities.
In nearly any occupation, people with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker has to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of people remain in the same occupation 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
Somebody with hearing loss earns only around 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.
The extent of hearing loss is directly associated with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do People With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with functional hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something significant.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with neglected hearing loss will have a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
In addition to on the job concerns, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to reduced productivity. And given the obstacles that a person with hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.
Luckily, there’s a very bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also reveal that having your hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. 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 discussed health challenges.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing untreated is probably more costly than you realize. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing test. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.