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Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA

Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the normal working years, many individuals build a lot of their perceived self-worth up around their job. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they have, and how much they earn.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It’s probably to tell them about your occupation.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their job was hampered. But there’s a career-buster out there that should make anyone who loves putting in a good day’s work pay attention.

That career killer is the troublesome link between neglected hearing loss and career success.

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 impairment. 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 does not use all of their marketable capabilities.

In nearly any occupation, people with neglected hearing loss experience lots of challenges. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work together 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 become quite good at what they do. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different job and make a decent living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Impairment

In addition to unemployment, those with hearing loss all have the tendency to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. Many independent studies support 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 severity of the hearing loss. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Are Some on The Job Challenges That Individuals With Hearing Loss Experience?

Job stress causes somebody with hearing loss to take sick days 5 times more often than somebody with functional hearing.

Being incapable of hearing causes added stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision needing to concentrate on hearing and comprehending in team meetings while others simply take hearing for granted. And missing out on an essential piece of information is always a worry.

That’s even more stressful.

Those with untreated hearing loss are also 3 times as likely to have a serious fall or other accident while at work or at home. Your ability to work is impacted.

Someone with untreated hearing loss is at an increased risk, in addition to job challenges, of the following:

  • Paranoia
  • Dementia
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

All of this adds up to decreased productivity. People who have hearing loss experience so many challenges, 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 an upside.

A Career Approach That Works

Studies also show that getting hearing loss treated can get rid of the unemployment and the wage gap.

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

About 77% of that gap can be mitigated for a person 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 might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids might seem too expensive. They probably don’t recognize that if hearing loss is neglected, it progresses more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns pointed out above.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into consideration. Leaving your hearing untreated is likely more expensive than you realize. If you’ve been on the fence about using hearing aids at work, it’s time to get a hearing exam. Call us and we can help you determine whether hearing aids would help.

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References

https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/fulltext/2013/02001/Hearing_Loss_Linked_to_Unemployment,_Lower_Income.2.aspx

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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