The numbers may be a little bit dated now, certainly higher in today’s terms. A good article from 2012 broke down some of the occupational expenses of untreated hearing loss. Most notably, the average employee with any degree of untreated hearing loss earned about $11,000 less than their peers. For severe untreated hearing loss this is about $30,000 last annually. That is well over $1 million in accumulated losses over a career!
Many employers, our office as well, have had employees with significant hearing loss that had significant burdens to communication. These employees will often nod affirmatively out of habit, although having missed possibly the critical point in the conversation. Is this impacting customer expectations? What about what your team or boss is expecting of you? Most of us feel self-conscious about asking “What??” all the time. Is this worsening ageism at work?
Employees with untreated hearing loss are also more likely to have other cardiovascular medical conditions and take more sick days for variety disorders including depression and anxiety.
A well designed 2020 international study examined the cost-benefit of hearing aids for hearing loss and found even just three months after hearing aid fitting that the hearing aids’ had a measurable overall quality of life benefit in line with other medical interventions.
Hearing aid devices are light years ahead of where they were years ago. With Bluetooth integrations and programmable environment settings these are now listening devices that become an extension of our body. Seamless.
Careers most likely to be impacted: sales, marketing, attorneys, healthcare workers, and anyone doing large volume phone calls conference calls (or Zoom!)