During the normal working years, many individuals build much of their perceived self-worth up around their occupation. Their self-image is often 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 most likely to tell them about what you do for a living.
People don’t want to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.
The troubling link between job success and neglected hearing loss is precisely that career killer.
Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates
A person is over 200% more likely to be underemployed or unemployed if they have untreated hearing impairment. If someone isn’t working full time or has marketable skills that their not using and their not making as much money as they should be, that’s defined as underemployed.
Those with untreated hearing loss face countless obstacles in nearly any occupation. Doctors need to be able to hear their patients. A construction worker has 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 individuals work their entire lives in one occupation. They become quite good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to switch to a different career and make a decent living.
The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment
Somebody with hearing loss makes only around 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 per year.
The extent of hearing loss is closely linked with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.
What Struggles do Individuals Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?
Job stress causes someone with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than someone with normal hearing.
From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine needing to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. And missing an essential piece of information is always a concern.
That’s even more stressful.
While on or off the job, it’s three times more likely that somebody with neglected hearing loss will suffer from a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.
In addition to on the job concerns, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:
- Social Isolation
Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. And given the difficulties that a person with hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.
Thankfully, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.
An Effective Career Strategy
Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.
The wage gap can be decreased by 90 – 100% for someone with mild hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as revealed by a study conducted by Better Hearing Institute.
Somebody with moderate hearing loss can remove about 77% of the gap. That’s about the earning level of someone who has normal hearing.
In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They feel that losing their hearing is embarrassing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.
They may think that hearing aids are just too expensive for them. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to causing the other health problems discussed above.
In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not treating your hearing loss might be costing you more than you recognize. If you’ve been on the fence about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Get in touch with us so we can help you make that decision.