During the normal working years, many individuals build much 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.
What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-buster.
The troubling connection between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person with neglected hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is commonly 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 use all of their marketable capabilities.
Those who have untreated hearing loss face countless obstacles in almost any occupation. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Lots of individuals stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a respectable living.
The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap
In addition to unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar somebody 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.
The degree 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 Challenges do Those Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
Someone with neglected hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never recognize. Picture needing to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. Now think about the stress 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 on or off the job. Your ability to work is impacted.
On top of on the job concerns, individuals with neglected hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss face so many obstacles, 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 prospect has a silver lining.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also reveal that having your hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can eliminate the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They may feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may assume that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health challenges.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not treating your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. It’s time to get a hearing exam if you’re trying to determine if you should use hearing aids at work. Give us a call and we can help you decide whether hearing aids would help.