During the standard 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.
When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.
It’s not pleasant to consider what would happen if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.
The troubling link between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
Someone 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 aren’t working full time or because the work does not make use of all of their marketable skills.
Those who have untreated hearing loss face many obstacles in nearly any line of work. A doctor needs to hear her patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. Even a librarian would find it hard to assist library patrons without her hearing.
Many individuals work their entire lives in one line of work. They become very good at what they do. If they can no longer do that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something different.
The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap
Somebody with hearing loss makes only about 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that reveal that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.
The extent of hearing loss is closely linked with how much they lose. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do Individuals With Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with functional hearing.
Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that other workers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Picture having to focus on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.
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. Both impact your ability to do the work.
Someone with neglected hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job challenges, of the following:
- Social Isolation
All of this results in reduced productivity. People with hearing loss experience 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 prospect has a silver lining.
A Career Solution That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by wearing hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with mild hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by as much as 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of someone 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 look “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may think 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.
These studies are even more significant when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more costly than you realize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing assessment. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.
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