The Pitfalls of Brushing Off Hearing Loss

By limiting one’s ability to communicate effectively, brushing off hearing loss can unnecessarily affect productivity, job performance, and earnings; lead to fatigue and distress; restrict interpersonal interactions; make it difficult to receive and interpret auditory information from computers, machines, and individuals; pose a risk to one’s ability to hear sounds that signal hazards in the work environment; increase sick leave, presenteeism, and disengagement from work; and diminish overall quality of life.

What’s more, an increased risk of hearing loss is tied to three of the most significant wellness concerns of American employers: obesity, diabetes, and smoking.

A national BHI study even found that people with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. The aggregate yearly loss in income due to underemployment for people with untreated hearing loss is an estimated $176 billion. And the fiscal cost to society in unrealized federal taxes is an estimated $26 billion. This doesn’t even measure the impact that unaddressed hearing loss has on worker productivity, absenteeism, and presenteeism.

Not surprisingly, EPIC’s “Listen Hear!” survey found that almost all (95%) of employees who suspect they have a hearing problem but have not sought treatment, say they believe their untreated hearing loss impacts them on the job in at least one way. From asking people to repeat what they have said (61%), to misunderstanding what is being said (42%), to even pretending to hear when they can’t (40%), the burden that comes with leaving hearing loss unaddressed weighs heavily on America’s workers.

If you have more questions or feel you may need your hearing checked, please call Hearing Consultants at 513.489.3300