During the normal working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their job. Their self-image is frequently based on what job they have, their position, and how much they make.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.
That career killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and career success.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have neglected hearing loss. 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 doesn’t make use of all of their marketable expertise.
In almost any career, individuals with neglected hearing loss experience lots of difficulties. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Lots of individuals stay in the same line of work their whole lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be difficult to change to a different job and make a decent living.
The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap
Somebody with hearing loss earns only around 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
The degree of hearing loss is strongly associated with how much they lose. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Face?
Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with functional hearing.
Being unable to hear causes additional 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 imagine the anxiety of missing something important.
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. Your ability to work is impacted.
On top of on the job concerns, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss face so many difficulties, 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 outlook has a silver lining.
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, a person with minor hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be removed for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of an individual in the same field with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many individuals fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They think that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
Hearing aids might seem too expensive. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not treating your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.