During the standard working years, many individuals build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they earn.
What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It probably 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 hampered. But there’s a career-breaker out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.
That livelihood killer is the troublesome 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. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not earning as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of obstacles in almost any occupation. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.
Many individuals work their whole lives in one occupation. They become very good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a decent living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that show that an individual loses up to $12,000 in income each year.
How much they lose directly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Challenges do Those Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than somebody with functional hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes additional stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture having to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.
That’s even worse.
Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while on or off the job. Both impact your ability to do the work.
On top of on the job challenges, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in reduced productivity. People who have hearing loss experience so many challenges, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Fortunately, this sad career prospect has a silver lining.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also reveal that having your hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for a person with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.
Someone 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.
Despite this positive news, many individuals leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They think 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 left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health concerns.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.