During the standard working years, many individuals build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. Their self-image is often based on what job they have, their position, and their pay.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It probably has something to do with what you do for a living.
It’s not enjoyable to consider what would happen if something took your living away. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves their work perk up and listen.
The troubling connection between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
Someone with untreated hearing trouble is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. Underemployment is generally 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 utilize all of their marketable capabilities.
In nearly any career, people with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges. Doctors need to be able to hear 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.
Lots of people stay in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. If they can no longer do that job well due to untreated hearing loss, it’s hard to make a living doing something different.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss
Along with unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 individuals, even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Confront on The Job?
Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day caused by job stress.
From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Envision having to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something important.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the result of all this. People with hearing loss face so many difficulties, 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 a silver lining.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for somebody with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can eliminate about 77% of the gap. That gets them nearly up to the earning of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. It makes them feel old.
They may assume that hearing aids are simply too costly for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.
Considering these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not dealing with your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing assessment. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.