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Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a big part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with what you do for a living.

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 putting in a good day’s work pay attention.

The troubling connection between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not using and their not earning as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.

In practically any career, people with untreated hearing loss face many difficulties. Doctors need to be able to hear their 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 hard to help library patrons.

Lots of individuals stay in the same line of work their entire lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

Someone with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages per year.

How much they lose closely 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 Are Some on The Job Struggles That Individuals With Hearing Loss Face?

Somebody with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.

Being unable to hear causes added stress that peers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

While at work or at home, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job challenges, of the following:

  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Paranoia

All of this results in reduced productivity. People with hearing loss face so many challenges, both at work and in their personal lives, regrettably being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.

Luckily, this sad career outlook has an upside.

A Career Strategy That Works

The unemployment and wage gap can be eliminated by wearing hearing aids according to some studies.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.

Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.

Despite this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to appear “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids might seem too costly. They most likely don’t comprehend that if hearing loss is left untreated, it advances more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns discussed above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. 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 and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.

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References

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2013/02001/Hearing_Loss_Linked_to_Unemployment,_Lower_Income.2.aspx

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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