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Can Hearing Loss Impact Your Earning Potential?

Can Hearing Loss Impact Your Earning Potential? - Hearing, Balance and Speech Center

Hearing loss is the 3rd most common health condition in older adults. It is estimated that 20% of Americans, that 48 million people, have a hearing loss. Of these, approximately only 35% are 65 years of age or older. Despite how common it is, many adults will wait up to 10 years before seeking treatment.

Hearing loss impacts many facets of life, particularly when left untreated. Studies are increasingly showing a link between untreated hearing loss and an individual's earning potential.

How Can Hearing Loss Impact Your Earning Potential?

The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) set out to investigate how hearing loss can impact earning potential. In their study entitled ‘The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Household Income,’ the BHI analyzed how untreated hearing loss impacted the earning potential of a working adult. The objective was to “quantify the relationship between treated and untreated hearing loss and income.”

Data from over 40,000 households were analyzed by the BHI study. Respondents included “heads of households” with a hearing loss who wore hearing aids, those with untreated hearing loss, and those without a hearing loss.

The resulting data was telling. It outlined that untreated hearing loss has a significant impact on earning potential. Specifically:

  • “Hearing loss was shown to negatively impact household income on-average up to $12,000 per year depending on the degree of hear­ing loss
  • The use of hearing instruments was shown to mitigate the [income] effects of hearing loss by 50%
  • The estimated cost in lost earnings due to untreated hearing loss is $122 billion”

The Challenges Of Untreated Hearing Loss

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the right of an individual with hearing loss against discrimination in the workplace. Despite this, untreated hearing loss can still present challenges. These could include:

  • Reduced Confidence - Untreated hearing loss can cause a reduction in confidence. The fear of answering inappropriately, mis-hearing someone, or having to ask coworkers to repeat themselves can impact confidence levels in the workplace.
  • Difficulty Communicating - Communication is a key part of many jobs. True, we’re seeing more work move into the digital world, but face to face meetings and conversations are still a staple in most work environments. Untreated hearing loss impacting effective communication may subsequently impact job performance.
  • Anxiety and Depression - The impact of reduced confidence and difficulty communication can lead to anxiety or depression in the workplace.

Can Treating Hearing Loss Help?

In their study, the BHI found that using hearing aids helped reduce the risk of lost income by up to 90-100% for adults with mild hearing loss. For those with moderate-severe hearing loss, treatment reduced the risk of lost income by 65-77%.

Hearing loss doesn’t have to affect your earning potential.

You can reduce the impact that a hearing loss has on your earning potential with treatment. If you are concerned that hearing loss is negatively affecting your earning potential, book in a hearing assessment with the team at Hearing Balance & Speech Center. Book a consultation with us today.

Research / Sources

  1. https://www.fingerlakeshearing.com/5-ways-hearing-helps-career/
  2. https://esteemhearing.com/about-hearing-loss/articles/hearing-loss-hindering-career-potential/
  3. https://www.starkey.com/blog/2016/10/income-affected-by-hearing-loss
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181108142334.htm