Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine and Southlake, TX

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 huge part of their self-worth. They base their self-image on what kind of job they have, what position they have, and how much they make.

What’s the first thing you think when someone asks, “So what do you do”? It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.

People don’t like to have to think about what they’d do if their livelihood was hindered. But if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.

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 unemployed or underemployed if they have untreated hearing loss. 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 utilize all of their marketable capabilities.

In almost any career, individuals with neglected hearing loss face many difficulties. A doctor needs to hear her patients. A construction worker needs to hear his co-workers in order to work together on a job. Even a librarian would find it difficult to help library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of individuals remain in the same occupation their whole lives. 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 career and make a decent living.

The Potential Hearing Impairment Wage Gap

On top of unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a significant wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is supported by many independent studies that show that a person loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.

How much they lose directly correlates with the extent of the hearing impairment. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Are Some on The Job Struggles That Individuals With Hearing Loss Face?

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

From moment to moment, someone with hearing loss experiences stresses that co-workers never see. Picture being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everybody else is taking their hearing for granted. Now think about the stress of missing something important.

That’s even worse.

While at work or at home, it’s three times more likely that somebody with neglected hearing loss will have a fall. Both impact your ability to do the work.

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

  • Paranoia
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Anxiety

All of this results in reduced productivity. And given the challenges that someone suffering from hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Fortunately, there’s a really bright upside to this dismal career outlook.

An Effective Career Strategy

The unemployment and wage gap can be mitigated by using hearing aids according to some studies.

According to a Better Hearing Institute study, someone with minor hearing loss who uses hearing aids can get rid of the wage gap by up to 90-100%.

About 77% of that gap can be removed for a person with moderate hearing loss. That gets them nearly up to the earning of an individual in the same job with normal hearing.

Even though hearing loss can be managed it’s not uncommon for people to ignore it during their working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

Hearing aids may seem too expensive. They most likely don’t recognize that if hearing loss is left untreated, it advances more quickly in addition to triggering the other health concerns mentioned above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss might be costing you more than you think. It’s time to have a hearing exam if you’re trying to decide if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us and we can help you decide 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.