During the standard working years, many individuals build a lot 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.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
It’s not enjoyable to consider what you would do if something took your career away. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves their work pay attention.
The troubling connection between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
Someone with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. 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 almost any occupation, individuals with neglected hearing loss experience lots of difficulties. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.
Lots of people stay in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it really well. If they can no longer perform that job well because of neglected hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something else.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Somebody with hearing loss earns only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.
The severity of hearing loss is strongly associated with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do Those Who Suffer From 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.
Being unable to hear causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience 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 more stressful.
Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Both impact your ability to do the work.
Somebody with neglected hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the obstacles that someone with hearing loss confronts at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.
Fortunately, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Solution
The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can erase the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the income of a person in the same job with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be managed it’s not 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 expensive. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is likely more expensive than you know. It’s time to have a hearing test if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you figure out whether hearing aids would help.