When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a large part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they have, 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 enjoyable to think about what you would do if something took your living away. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anybody who loves their work pay attention.
The troubling connection between career success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.
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 commonly defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work doesn’t use all of their marketable expertise.
Those who have untreated hearing loss face countless challenges in nearly any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work with each other on a job. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons.
Many people work their whole lives in one occupation. They know it very well. 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 Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Somebody with hearing loss earns only about 75 cents to every dollar that someone with normal hearing earns. Numerous independent studies support this wage gap and demonstrate that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.
How much they lose closely correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.
What Are Some on The Job Challenges That People With Hearing Loss Face?
Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than someone with normal hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never recognize. Imagine needing to focus on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. And missing out on a crucial piece of information is always a concern.
That’s even worse.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
On top of on the job issues, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased risk of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. People with hearing loss experience so many difficulties, both at work and in their personal lives, unfortunately being passed over for a promotion is also a very real possibility.
Luckily, this sad career outlook has a silver lining.
A Career Approach That Works
Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can cancel out the unemployment and the wage gap.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, somebody with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
Someone with moderate hearing loss can get rid of about 77% of the gap. That gets them almost up to the earning of a person in the same field with normal hearing.
Despite this positive news, many people fail to treat their hearing loss during those working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may assume that hearing aids are just too costly for them. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if neglected, not to mention the previously mentioned health challenges.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Leaving your hearing unaddressed is probably more costly than you recognize. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing test. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.