Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

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 kind of job they have, what position they hold, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing you think when somebody asks, “So what do you do”? It most likely has something to do with your job.

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 be aware of this career-buster.

The troubling link between job success and untreated hearing loss is precisely that livelihood 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. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they are not working full time or because the work does not make use of all of their marketable expertise.

Those who have untreated hearing loss face countless challenges in almost 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 together on a job. Even a librarian would find it hard to help library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of people remain in the same occupation their entire lives. They become extremely good at what they do. If they can no longer perform that job well because of untreated hearing loss, it’s difficult to make a living doing something else.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

On top of unemployment, those with hearing loss all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making about 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies back 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 extent of the hearing loss. According to a study conducted on 80,000 participants, even people with slight hearing loss are potentially losing money.

What Struggles do People Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Deal With on The Job?

Somebody with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day as a result of job stress.

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that peers don’t endure on a moment-to-moment basis. Imagine having to concentrate on hearing and understanding in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. Now think about the anxiety of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

Those with neglected hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a significant fall or other accident while on or off the job. Both impact your ability to do the work.

In addition to on the job issues, individuals with untreated hearing loss are at increased danger of:

  • Dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Paranoia

Reduced productivity is the result of all this. People who have hearing loss experience so many obstacles, 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 an upside.

A Career Approach That Works

Studies also show that having your hearing loss treated can eliminate the unemployment and the wage gap.

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for somebody with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids, as revealed by a study carried out by Better Hearing Institute.

About 77% of that gap can be eliminated for somebody with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of somebody who has normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be corrected it isn’t uncommon for people to neglect it during their 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 expensive. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it worsens more quickly in addition to triggering the other health problems mentioned above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold added significance. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more than you know. If you’ve been undecided about wearing hearing aids at work, it’s time to have a hearing test. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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