Monday, November 8, 2010

The Efficacy of Hearing Aids in the Workplace

The majority of people with hearing loss are under retirement age.  Therefore, it’s crucial that we educate people with untreated hearing loss in the workforce to understand in this tough job market that hearing better could have profound implications for their marketability, success on the job and their earning potential.
In our latest MarkeTrak VIII publicationThe efficacy of hearing aids in achieving compensation equity in the workplace” (Hearing Journal, October 2010) we have demonstrated conclusively in a study of 40,000 households that:
  • People with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss.
  • For those that use them, hearing aids were shown to mitigate the impact of income loss by 90%-100% for those with milder hearing losses and from 65%-77% for those with severe to moderate hearing loss.
  • The loss in income for people with untreated hearing loss due to underemployment is estimated at $176 billion, and the cost to society is estimated to be as high as $26 billion in unrealized federal taxes.
  • There was a strong relationship between degree of hearing loss and unemployment for unaided subjects. Those with severe hearing loss had unemployment rates (15.6%) double that of the normal-hearing population (7.8%) and nearly double that of their aided peers (8.3%). Thus, one would expect that the cost to society of unemployment benefit payments is double that for normal-hearing households, depending on degree of hearing loss.
In the coming months we will be promoting this study nationally and developing OpEd and press releases for hearing health professionals to educate the public at a local level. We believe educating consumers about hearing loss and its relationship to job success is an effective strategy for influencing people with untreated hearing loss (and perhaps in denial) to seek hearing solutions earlier in their life.
Earlier this year we issued a Q & A article targeted to Human Resource executives. Hearing Health Professionals are invited to distribute this article to HR executives in their community as a means of introducing their services.

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