September 2, 2014

People with Untreated Hearing Loss Earn Less

By Dr. Molly Parker
Audiologist and Owner
Parker Audiology, P.C.
& Dr. Alison Soto
Parker Audiology, P.C.

A study performed by the Better Hearing Institute in 2011 showed the cost of hearing loss to society may be as much as $26 billion (Yes, with a “B”) in federal taxes. This means that about $176 billion in actual loss of wages from underemployment are directly related to hearing loss. There is a strong
correlation between how much hearing loss versus how much you earn.

According to Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., exectuive director of Better Hearing Institute, about 60 percent of the 34 million people with hearing loss are in the workforce, which is about 11 percent of the U.S. population. Of those with moderate to severe hearing loss, 40 percent wear hearing technology. When hearing loss is not addressed, it presents barriers to how productive we are. It affects lifelong earnings.

Here’s some suggestions straight from the Kochkin Study:

1. Create a work climate where hearing loss is acceptable; learn communication strategies for co-workers and for
2. Provide easy accomodations, including moving desks and chairs around to make hearing easier. This should include reducing background noise, providing amplified phones, and acoustic treatments.
3. Consider installing or requesting sound insulating panels to improve privacy and to absorb background noise.
4. Consider inductive loops to help hearing aids use assistive technology.
5. Education and awareness of communication strategies can help for both the hearing impaired, and for the population in general.

“The worse case scenario in delaying treating hearing loss is how hearing loss affects individuals and their families for the rest of their lives for lost wages, lost promotions, lost retirement income, and unrealized dreams,” says Kochkin. “But when people with even mild hearing loss use hearing aids, they improve their job performance, increase earning potential, enhance their communication skills, improve professional relationships, stave off depression and improve the quality of their life,” says Kochkin.

To get your hearing checked and treated…or to discuss communication strategies at home or work, please call our office for an appointment at (563) 326-5441

Parker Audiology, P.C is locally owned and operated. Call Dr. Alison Soto or Dr. Molly Parker today for an appointment at (563) 326-5441.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness

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