When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is frequently a huge part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what type of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they earn.
When someone asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind. It most likely has something to do with your job.
It’s not pleasant to consider what you would do if something took your career away. But if you like your job, then you should be aware of this career-breaker.
The troubling link between career success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that livelihood killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person with neglected hearing problems is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed. 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 doesn’t utilize all of their marketable skills.
Those with neglected hearing loss face countless obstacles in nearly any line of work. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. If they’re going to efficiently work together, construction workers have to be able to communicate. And without the ability to hear, even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons.
Lots of people remain in the same line of work their entire lives. They know it really well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different job and make a respectable living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Along with unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to suffer a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is backed by numerous independent studies that show that a person loses up to $12,000 in wages every year.
How much they lose strongly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Are Some on The Job Struggles That People With Hearing Loss Experience?
Job stress causes a person with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more frequently than somebody with normal hearing.
From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never recognize. Imagine being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. And missing an important piece of information is always a worry.
That’s even worse.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that someone with untreated hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Your ability to work is impacted.
In addition to on the job concerns, people with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Reduced productivity is the result of all this. People who have 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 an upside.
A Career Solution That Works
The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by using hearing aids according to some studies.
According to a Better Hearing Institute study, a person with slight hearing loss who wears hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.
About 77% of that gap can be removed for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That gets them almost up to the income of a person in the same job with normal hearing.
Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.
They may think that hearing aids are just too costly for them. Most likely, they’re not aware that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously mentioned health concerns.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more 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.