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Center For Better Hearing - Glens Falls, NY

Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

During the normal working years, many people build much of their perceived self-worth up around their job. They base their self-image on what kind of job they do, what position they hold, and how much they make.

When somebody asks “so what do you do?”, what’s the first thing you think. 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 hindered. But if you like your job, then you should take note of this career-buster.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

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 make use of all of their marketable skills.

Those who have neglected hearing loss face many challenges in almost 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.

Lots of people remain in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it very well. For them, if they can’t hear well, it would be hard to change to a different career and make a decent living.

The Wage Gap Caused by Hearing Loss

Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to experience a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar a person with normal hearing earns. Many independent studies support this wage gap and show that that gap averages out at about $12,000 lost wages every year.

How much they lose directly correlates with the severity of the hearing impairment. Even individuals with mild hearing loss are potentially losing money, according to a study of 80,000 people.

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

Someone with untreated hearing loss is 5 times more likely to take a sick day due to job stress.

Being unable to hear causes additional stress that peers don’t experience on a moment-to-moment basis. Envision being in a meeting and struggling to hear while everyone else is taking their hearing for granted. Now imagine the anxiety of missing something significant.

That’s even more stressful.

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

  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Social Isolation

Decreased productivity is the consequence of all this. People with 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 a silver lining.

An Effective Career Strategy

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

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

About 77% of that gap can be removed for someone 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 corrected it’s not uncommon for people to neglect it during their working years. They might feel embarrassed about losing their hearing. They don’t want to seem “older” because of their hearing loss.

Hearing aids may seem too costly. They probably don’t realize that if hearing loss is neglected, it advances more quickly in addition to causing the other health concerns mentioned above.

In light of these common objections, these studies hold additional significance. Not addressing your hearing loss may be costing you more than you think. If you’ve been undecided about using 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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