During the typical working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. They base their self-image on what type of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they earn.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It probably has something to do with your job.
People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hampered. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work perk up and listen.
That livelihood killer is the troublesome 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 untreated hearing loss. If a person isn’t working full time or has marketable capabilities that their not making use of and their not earning as much as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
Those with neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges in almost any line of work. Doctors need to be capable of hearing their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.
Many individuals work their whole lives in one line of work. They know it really well. If they can no longer execute that job well because of neglected hearing loss, it’s hard to make a living doing something different.
The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap
Somebody with hearing loss makes only about 75 cents to every dollar that somebody with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages per year.
The severity of hearing loss is directly correlated with how much they lose. Even people with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do Those With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?
Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than somebody with functional hearing.
From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Picture having to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others just take hearing for granted. And missing an important piece of information is always a worry.
That’s even more stressful.
Those with untreated 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.
Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
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 a silver lining.
An Effective Career Strategy
Studies also reveal that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for a person with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as reported by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of a person in the same field with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be managed it isn’t uncommon for people to disregard it during their 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 probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it advances more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns discussed above.
These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more expensive than you know. It’s time to get a hearing test if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.