Everyday activities are often challenging for people with hearing loss, and your job is no different. Untreated hearing loss is linked to lower employment rates as well as lower pay. Fortunately, hearing aids can help curb barriers that affect your work life.
What Is Hearing Loss Costing You?
People with severe untreated hearing loss have an unemployment rate of 15.6 percent, which is twice the rate of both the normal hearing population (7.8 percent) as well as the rate of those who use hearing aids (8.3 percent).
Those with hearing loss who are employed make about 25 percent less than their normal-hearing counterparts, with an average decrease in annual income of about $30,000. Hearing aids were shown to reduce this deficit by 90-100 percent for those with mild hearing loss, and 65-77 percent for moderate to severe hearing loss.
While these statistics may be upsetting, it’s important to note that the differences in unemployment and pay are significantly less for those who treat their hearing loss with hearing aids.
How Hearing Aids Improve Your Job Performance
Hearing loss can make it difficult for you to communicate with your supervisor, coworkers and clients. You may have extra difficulty following conversations in conference rooms with lots of background noise or when talking on the phone. By treating your hearing loss with hearing aids, you can improve your relationships with your colleagues and customers.
Hearing loss is also associated with poor cognitive function because it places extra burden on your auditory system. By wearing hearing aids, you’ll keep your brain active, decreasing cognitive load, improving memory and preventing risk factors for dementia and other forms of cognitive decline.
Living with hearing loss makes many people feel self-conscious and affects confidence. When you’re able to communicate and remember things better, you’ll feel more self-assured and confident in your ability to do your job. Hearing aids can help provide this confidence.
Know Your Rights
Know that it is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you for having hearing loss, treated or untreated. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for their employees with disabilities. These accommodations may include modifying equipment, providing new devices, modifying work schedules, restructuring job responsibilities and providing interpreters.
The Hearing Loss Association of America has provided an employment toolkit full of information about the workplace for people who experience hearing loss.
For more information about hearing loss and the workplace, call Arizona Hearing Specialists today!
Learn More About Hearing Loss
- The Connection Between Hearing Loss and Loneliness
- The Riskiest Occupations for Hearing Loss in Tucson
- Can Iron Deficiency Lead to Hearing Loss?