More than 10 percent of full-time employees have a diagnosed hearing problem, and another 30 percent suspect they have a problem, but have not sought treatment, according to EPIC’s Listen Hear! survey.
And of those with a suspected hearing loss, nearly all report that this hearing loss impacts them on the job, with complaints ranging from stress due to misunderstanding what was said to pretending to hear well to having trouble over the phone.
A 2011 study by the Better Hearing Institute revealed that hearing loss can pose a significant barrier to productivity, performance, overall career success, lifetime earnings, and household earnings — in fact, it can lead to almost $30,000 in lost income every year. Luckily, treating hearing loss can make a hearing-related income loss negligible, and it can help in other ways that you might not have expected. Take a look at just a handful of the ways that improving your hearing can help you in your career.
- It shows you’re an ambitious problem solver. Many people ignore or downplay their health problems, and they do so for a variety of reasons. But addressing hearing loss sends the message that you’re willing to deal with issues like this head-on: You’ll do what it takes to stay atop your game.
- It improves your workplace communication. A 2007 study by the Better Hearing Institute found that workers are most affected by hearing loss during phone calls and conversations with coworkers. Conversely, nearly 7 in 10 participants reported improvements in their ability to communicate effectively when they used hearing aids. For jobs where communication is critical, treating hearing loss can pay dividends.
- It makes you more confident. One of the largest self-report surveys of hearing aid users and their close family and friends revealed that self-image, self-confidence, relations at work, and life overall improve greatly. Despite the stigma surrounding wearing hearing aids, better hearing means better relationships and more confidence, and those are two great things to take with you to the workplace.
- It keeps you on the cutting edge of technology. Hearing technology today isn’t the same as it was a decade ago — it’s connective and plays well with other technology to make your life easier. With hearing systems that connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth® to stream audio and allow you to customize your listening situation, today’s technology acts to improve your life in ways that go beyond better communication.
- It keeps your earning potential high. Remember the 2011 Better Hearing Institute study quoted earlier that found that untreated hearing loss impacts annual income earnings? That same study found that the use of hearing aids was shown to reduce the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with a mild hearing loss, and by 65 to 77 percent for those with moderate to severe hearing loss. Those with untreated hearing loss also face higher rates of unemployment, which drops your earning potential.
How do you know when you have a hearing loss? It’s a sneaky problem, and many folks aren’t aware that their hearing is getting worse until a family member or friend talks to them about it. Hearing loss is occurring at a faster rate among our younger generation, and the associated risks like dementia may soon become a health epidemic.
It’s important to get your hearing checked regularly, along with your vision, dental, and physical wellness checkups. Contact us today and schedule a comprehensive hearing exam — no matter your age — and find out how hearing loss might be affecting your workplace relations and income potential.