Is your income affected by your ability to hear? - WKRN News 2

Is your income affected by your ability to hear?

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Untreated hearing loss can decrease a person's income by as much as $30,000 a year Untreated hearing loss can decrease a person's income by as much as $30,000 a year

Baby boomers continuing to work longer in life before retiring might notice a decrease in income - and the reason for that decrease could be caused by one of the five senses.

Untreated hearing loss can decrease a person's income by as much as $30,000 a year, according to a survey conducted by the Better Hearing Institute.

Hearing is critical to effective communication in the workforce. The ability to hear and listen well enables employees to be more productive and understand the work that has been assigned. Poor communication can result in unhappy customers, missed deadlines, poor morale among co-workers and mistakes on the job. Effective hearing may also be critical to ensure safety on the job.

Yet many boomers and people approaching boomer age have difficulty admitting hearing loss. Signs you may be suffering from hearing loss include:

  • Having others in the room complain about the volume of the radio or television.
  • Requesting people repeat their words on a frequent basis.
  • Missing out on group conversations.


Not only can hearing loss affect an individual, but the individual's lower income or unemployment status also can affect the national economy. There are more than 34 million Americans with hearing loss, and the estimated loss of income is $176 billion for those with hearing loss who are underemployed or unemployed. That cost to society is as high as $26 billion in unrealized federal taxes.

"People are losing their hearing earlier and staying in the workforce longer," says Sergei Kochkin, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. "In today's tough job market, hearing your best is essential for career success."

Hearing aids are shown to reduce the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss.

Hearing aids remain the optimum treatment for the vast majority of people with hearing loss. Yet only 40 percent of Americans with moderate to severe hearing loss, and only 9 percent of those with mild hearing loss, wear them. One misconception is that hearing aids are big and ugly, and could make a person appear old or disabled. But if you are in a workplace and are not hearing instructions or missing the conversation happening around the water cooler, people may wonder about your mental capacity.   

Provided by the Better Hearing Institute

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