Since symptoms of age-related hearing loss may start occurring by age fifty-five, it is safe to assume that many individuals in the workforce are experiencing some degree of hearing loss. Recently, the non-profit Better Hearing Institute (BHI) took a close look at the impact untreated hearing loss has on the workplace — and its workforce. What they discovered was fascinating, showing that untreated hearing loss not only cost companies money (in terms of lost productivity, accidents and more), but also affected workers’ earnings, and even employment rates. Since the majority of people that have hearing loss are still in the workforce today, these issues are a relevant concern.
Following are four significant impacts of hearing loss in the workplace:
- People with untreated hearing loss can lose up to $30,000 of income annually, depending on their degree of loss
- The aggregate yearly loss in income due to underemployment for people with untreated hearing loss is an estimated $176 billion
- Impaired hearing leads to fatigue and distress, restricted interpersonal interactions and difficulty interpreting auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals
- Fiscal cost to society in unrealized federal taxes is an estimated $26 billion
Luckily, hearing loss is largely manageable if addressed properly. The BHI study found that the use of hearing aids reduced the risk of income loss dramatically—by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate loss. The study also found that people with severe hearing loss who use hearing aids are nearly twice as likely to be employed as their peers who don’t.
Types of Hearing Loss
The most common type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This type of hearing impairment is easily treated with hearing aids. Sensorineural hearing loss is when the inner ear nerves are damaged and don’t send the right messages to the brain.
Conductive hearing loss, which may be treated surgically, is described as something blocking (like a bone or part of the Eustachian tube due to a malformation) the outer or middle ear and may change how you hear quiet sounds.
If you think hearing loss may be affecting your ability at work, get help today.
Come in for a COMPLIMENTARY Hearing Evaluation, consultation and demo of today’s latest hearing technology. Call (770) 450-6554 or fill out our contact form.