When you think about how hearing loss might be affecting your life, the biggest financial impact that comes to mind is probably the initial cost of hearing aids. But the bigger financial impact is likely to be on your career and yearly earnings. 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 — to the tune of $30,000 in lost income every year.
Luckily, treating hearing impairment can make a hearing-related income loss negligible, and it can help in other ways you might not have expected. Take a look at just a handful of the ways better 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 these head-on — that you’ll do what it takes to stay on top of 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 co-workers. Conversely, nearly seven in 10 participants reported improvements in their ability to communicate when they used hearing aids. For jobs in which 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 members and friends revealed that self-image, self-confidence, relations at work, and life overall improve greatly with the use of hearing aids. Despite the stigma surrounding wearing hearing devices, 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. Some hearing systems even 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.