McDonald Hearing Services - Grand Rapids, MI

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 large part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they have, and how much they earn.

When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It probably has something to do with your job.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job 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.

Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss

A person with untreated 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 expertise.

In practically any career, people with neglected hearing loss experience many difficulties. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. A construction worker has 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.

Many people work their whole lives in one line of work. They know it very well. If they can no longer perform that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s hard to make a living doing something else.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all have the tendency to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. Many independent studies back this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at around $12,000 lost wages every year.

How much they lose directly correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Experience?

Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine being in a meeting and straining to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.

On top of on the job challenges, people with neglected hearing loss are at increased danger of:

  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Dementia

Reduced productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the difficulties that someone with hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an available promotion.

Fortunately, this sad career prospect has an upside.

An Effective Career Strategy

Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids, as reported by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.

Someone with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning of a person in the same field with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it’s not uncommon for people to neglect 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’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should use hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you figure out 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.