During the normal working years, many individuals build much 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.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s probably to tell them about what you do for a living.
It’s not enjoyable to think about what would happen if something took your living away. But if you value your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
That career killer is the disturbing link between neglected hearing loss and career success.
Unemployment Rate is Higher With Untreated Hearing Loss
A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. Underemployment is typically defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work does not utilize all of their marketable capabilities.
Those who have neglected hearing loss face lots of challenges in almost any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to safely work together, construction workers need to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.
Lots of people stay in the same occupation their entire lives. They know it very well. If they can no longer perform that job well due to neglected hearing loss, it’s tough to make a living doing something else.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Somebody with hearing loss earns 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 around $12,000 lost wages per year.
How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing loss. Even individuals with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.
What Are Some on The Job Struggles That Individuals With Hearing Loss Deal With?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than somebody with normal hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that other workers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the stress of missing something important.
That’s even worse.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will have a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
Somebody with untreated hearing loss is at an increased danger, in addition to job concerns, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this adds up to reduced productivity. People with hearing loss face so many obstacles, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Thankfully, there’s a really bright silver lining to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Solution
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can erase the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for someone with moderate hearing loss. That’s nearly the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated 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 costly. 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 significant when these common objections are taken into account. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.