According to the Better Hearing Institute, more than 34 million Americans suffer from hearing loss and roughly 60% of them are in the workforce.
Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to increased worker absenteeism and reduced workplace productivity. Hearing loss is also associated with a wide range of physical and emotional conditions such as impaired memory, compromised ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased personal safety risks, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, and a decrease in overall health. In recognition of May’s Better Hearing Month, Elite Audiology in Middletown, Ohio (clarkaudiology.com) joins the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) in urging employers to make hearing health a high priority within their workplace wellness programs.
Today, more than half (53%) of U.S. employers use wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs. By including hearing health in wellness programs, employers can encourage workers to treat hearing loss rather than hide it. This helps workers who are concerned about hearing loss and also creates a work environment where the loss of hearing does not have to interfere with job performance, productivity, safety, or morale.
A national BHI study found that 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. Use of hearing aids was shown to reduce the risk of income loss by 90-100% for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 - 77 % for those with moderate to severe hearing loss.
According to BHI, three out of four hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life when fit with hearing aids. Studies show that people with even mild hearing loss who use hearing aids have improved job performance, increased earning potential, enhanced communication skills, improved professional and interpersonal relationships, and less depression.
To heighten awareness of Better Hearing Month, Elite Audiology is offering free hearing screenings during the two weeks of May. For further information, call 513-422-6516.