How Much Money is Hearing Loss Costing You?
Hearing loss doesn't just affect your family, your work and your social life. It’s costing you money – and more than you might think.
Hearing Loss Affects Your Work
A hearing healthcare company undertook a survey of 2000 employees, asking them questions about hearing loss in the workplace. Among those interviewed, 30 percent suspected that they had some hearing loss, but hadn’t sought out the expertise of an audiologist to get a diagnosis. And almost all of them agreed that their hearing loss was negatively affecting their ability to do their job.
Hearing Loss Affects Your Colleagues
In this study, researchers asked participants specifically how their hearing loss was affecting their work, and here’s what they found:
- Over 60 percent of respondents asked people to repeat what they had said because they didn’t hear it the first time
- Over 55 percent said that they had trouble hearing a conversation when there was background noise present
- Over 40 percent said that they often misunderstood what they were being told
- Over 40 percent said that they pretended to hear what was said, when in fact they didn’t hear it at all
Hearing Loss Will Cost You
It is estimated that on average, someone with untreated hearing loss will earn approximately $30,000 less than someone who can hear normally. This loss of income comes from lower bonuses or raises, being passed up for promotion, or simply not getting the job done because you can’t properly hear what’s going on in your workplace.
Companies Pay More
People who suffer with untreated hearing loss are often more negative, angry and irritable. They tend to withdraw from social situations, and have difficulty learning new tasks. This affects their health, and leads to increased health insurance claims, which ultimately are paid for by the employer.
Health Care Plans Aren’t Well Understood
One of the difficulties with hearing loss is that many people don’t understand their health care plans, and don’t know whether visits to an audiologist or hearing aids are covered by their plans. This lack of transparency can cause many people who need hearing aids to delay seeking help for their hearing impairment.
The Bottom Line
At the same time, when workers have trouble following conversations, misunderstand what is being said, or pretend to hear things that they don’t hear, it affects their productivity, and the company’s bottom line. Everybody loses with untreated hearing loss.
More Than Money
Ultimately, living with hearing loss can be very expensive. But it’s not just the money. Hearing loss costs you affinity and closeness with your family, it costs you the ability to be a good employee, it costs you your health with respect to stress and anxiety, and it can cost you your sense of community, leaving you feeling depressed or isolated.
If you suspect that you have hearing loss, visit an audiologist for a hearing test, and don't delay because the longer you wait the harder it is to regain the sounds you have lost. Good hearing will be the best investment you can make for your career, and your life.