Hearing loss is a condition often associated with old age. However, current research shows that only one third of people with hearing loss are at retirement age. This leaves another two thirds of people in an age with hearing loss which may be affecting how they communicate and stay safe while on the job. One study found that over 10% of employees in the workplace experience a diagnosed hearing problem, while another 30% suspect they may have an issue with their hearing. The problem is that many people don’t realize they have an issue, or put off treatment. It not only makes it hard for them to hear, but can lead to loss of income, missed promotions and safety issues which affects everyone at work.
The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income
We know that hearing loss makes it difficult to connect to the people in our lives but how does that translate to our professional life? We rely on our hearing to listen to directions, synthesize information, participate in meetings, and stay alert to potential dangers in our working environment. Due to factors like these, studies have shown that it may impact not only our ability to hear, but our potential to earn in a competitive professional environment. To better understand the impact this has on our professional success, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) led a 2011 study titled, The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income. The BHI surveyed 80,000 households throughout the US, identifying 16,000 individuals with hearing loss.
Based on the individuals with hearing loss, further surveys were conducted including a test group of 3,000 who were hearing aid users, and an equal group who did not use hearing aids. In addition, further subdividing was conducted based on the severity of hearing loss from mild to profound. The BHI then compared the household income of people with hearing loss who did and did not use hearing aids, discovering shocking results!
Hearing Loss: A Significant Impact on Income
The study found that the degree of hearing loss was comparable to loss in earnings for individuals with untreated hearing loss. For instance, those with profound hearing loss, on average, earned $12,000 less annually than those with mild hearing loss. The study showed that the worse the hearing loss the more severe a loss in income was experienced. On an individual basis this loss can impact quality of life, self-esteem, independence, and ability to support a family. Across the US, the results of the study estimated that the calculated cost of lost earnings due to untreated hearing loss may equal approximately $122 billion—a figure which most likely has grown since the findings of this study over a decade ago.
The Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss for your Career
The good news is that while the study identified the damaging effects of hearing loss to our average earnings, with the use of hearing aids in the workplace, the loss of earnings was minimized by up to 50 percent! Hearing aids can’t correct hearing loss permanently, but they can help you to stay more alert and socially engaged at work. Here are just some of the benefits to wearing hearing aids in the workplace:
Improved communication: Communication is a critical aspect of any workplace across professions. In office settings healthy hearing allows you to collect information and follow instructions while in manual labor environments it can give you vital information to keep you and others safe.
Boosted confidence: In the workplace self-confidence will go a long way towards increasing success. When you amplify your hearing with hearing aids, you’ll be able to hear your coworkers and employers with greater clarity, leaving you feeling poised and ready for anything that comes your way.
Reduces Your Cognitive Load: Untreated hearing loss adds stress to our lives in several ways including the deprivations of certain tones and pitches that can no longer reach the brain. With untreated hearing loss this will cause you to strain, causing higher levels of exhaustion from an average workload. However, with hearing aids, cognitive load is reduced, allowing you to focus with greater clarity at work.
Open New Opportunities
Untreated hearing loss limits your opportunities in your career and life in general. However, with hearing aids, you can feel confident to pursue new opportunities, essential to growth in the workforce. Your profession may not only be your passion, but how you support you and your family. Don’t let it affect your chance to thrive and survive! Contact us now to find out if hearing aids are right for you!