Surprise – This Can Derail Your Career

Woman confused at work because she has untreated hearing loss.

When people are at an age where they are still working, their job is often a big part of their self-worth. 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 you think. It most likely has something to do with what you do for a living.

It’s not pleasant to consider what you would do if something took your career away. But if you value your job, then you should take note of this career-breaker.

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

Untreated Hearing Loss Raises Unemployment Rates

A person is over 200% more likely to be unemployed or underemployed if they have neglected hearing impairment. Underemployment is generally defined as the condition of employees not earning up to their potential, either because they aren’t working full time or because the work doesn’t utilize all of their marketable skills.

Those who have neglected hearing loss face many obstacles in almost any occupation. Doctors need to be capable of hearing 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 difficult to assist library patrons without her hearing.

Lots of individuals remain in the same occupation their whole lives. They know it really well. If they can no longer perform that job well because of neglected hearing loss, it’s hard to make a living doing something else.

The Potential Hearing Loss Wage Gap

Along with unemployment, those with hearing impairment all tend to suffer a substantial wage gap, making around 75 cents for every dollar someone with normal hearing makes. This wage gap is backed by many independent studies that reveal that an individual loses as much as $12,000 in wages each year.

The severity of hearing loss is closely correlated with how much they lose. Even people with moderate hearing loss are potentially losing money, based on a study of 80,000 people.

What Challenges do Individuals With Hearing Loss Face on The Job?

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

From moment to moment, somebody with hearing loss copes with stresses that co-workers never see. Imagine 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 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 risk of:

  • Anxiety
  • Social Isolation
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Dementia

All of this adds up to decreased productivity. And given the obstacles that a person suffering from hearing loss faces at work and in life, they may also not be considered for an upcoming promotion.

Luckily, this sad career outlook has an upside.

A Career Strategy That Works

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

The wage gap can be erased by 90 – 100% for a person 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 removed for a person with moderate hearing loss. That’s about the earning level of somebody with normal hearing.

In spite of this positive news, many people leave their hearing loss untreated during those working years. They might feel self-conscious about losing their hearing. It makes them feel old.

They may think that hearing aids are simply too expensive for them. Most likely, they don’t know that hearing loss gets worse faster if left untreated, not to mention the previously discussed health concerns.

These studies are even more compelling when these common objections are taken into account. Not treating your hearing loss might be costing you more than you know. It’s time to have a hearing test if you’re trying to determine if you should wear hearing aids at work. Contact us so we can help you make that decision.


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.