Hearing Better May Mean Earning More
People with untreated hearing loss may see their income decrease by as much as $30,000 a year, according to a national survey by the Better Hearing Institute. But hearing aids were shown to reduce the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss.
Most of the more than 34 million Americans with hearing loss are either in the workforce or in school. The loss in income for people with untreated hearing problems, due to underemployment, is estimated at $176 billion.
Hearing is critical to effective communication in the workforce. The ability to hear and listen well enables employees to be more productive and understand the work that has been assigned. Poor communication can result in unhappy customers, missed deadlines, poor morale among co-workers and mistakes on the job. Effective hearing may also be critical to ensure safety on the job.
In the study, those with unaided severe hearing loss had unemployment rates double that of the normal-hearing population, and nearly double that of their aided peers.
“People are losing their hearing earlier and staying in the workforce longer,” says Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. “In today’s tough job market, hearing your best is essential for career success.”
Hearing aids remain the optimum treatment for the vast majority of people with hearing loss. Yet only 40 percent of Americans with moderate to severe hearing loss, and only 9 percent of those with mild hearing loss, wear them.
Half of all people with untreated hearing loss have never had their hearing professionally checked. To help, the Better Hearing Institute has a five-minute hearing test at www.hearingcheck.org. You can learn more about hearing loss and how to help it at www.betterhearing.org.