It’s widely accepted that hearing loss can have a profound impact on both the individual and their family. Along with an number of the personal effects, job performance can be greatly affected. After reading articles authored by Sergei Kochkin Ph.D. and Mark Ross, Ph.D., we were given a real eye opener as to just how monetarily expensive hearing loss can be.
Fact: Counter to the stereotype that hearing loss is only found in the elderly retired community, 60% of people with hearing loss are actively working or in an educational setting.
… employment income is related (negatively) to the degree of hearing loss.
Few people could go through their day at work without speaking to either coworkers or supervisors at the very least. We all rely on accurate verbal communication to effectively perform our duties at work. Based on the articles reviewed, job performance has been linked to the ability to hear well enough to facilitate effective verbal communication.
The study sited took place the United States using a representative demographic sample from all areas of the country. Three main groups of people made up the core of the research. The first group wore hearing aids (1800 people), the second group had hearing loss but were not using a hearing aid (3000 people), and the third group was a large number of people acting as the control group. To make analysis easier, the hearing loss group was further divided into ten groups based upon the severity of their hearing loss.
Income Loss & Severity of Hearing Loss
While we have already commented that employment income is proportionally related to the degree of hearing loss, the severity is somewhat surprising. Among the participants with hearing loss (aided or unaided), the group with the most severe degree of hearing loss earned roughly $14,000 less than the group with the lowest level of hearing loss.
When comparing the members of the group with the most severe hearing loss the wage difference between those using hearing aids and those not using hearing aids was an incredible $31,000 per year. This group made up some 10% of the participants in the study.
The Good News About Hearing Aids & Income
Can hearing aids help lost income related to hearing loss?
The simple answer was yes, reduced incomes for those with hearing loss could be improved by use of hearing amplification devices such as hearing aids. The only caveat was that the income deficit between workers with “normal” hearing and those with the greatest level of hearing loss using hearing aids, would still have a gap of some $11,000 less than their normal hearing counterparts. An income difference of $11,000 seems enormous until you consider it next to a difference of $31,000 for those not using hearing aids.
Protecting your hearing now is a wise investment in your future.
Protecting your hearing is important for not only a comfortable lifestyle later in life, having good relations with your family and coworkers, but it’s also for your pocketbook. Reduced incomes are correlated with hearing loss and are proportional to the severity of hearing loss whether treated or untreated. While treated hearing loss can greatly reduce the income gap between people with normal hearing vs. those with hearing loss, it does not completely restore the gap in income.
From our point of view, it pays to protect your hearing and prevent hearing loss altogether. Should you have suffered hearing loss it also pays to have it diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
To hear what you’ve been missing, call the Polo Park Hearing Centre Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. (204) 788-1083