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Hard of hearing could be losing income

Workers with hearing problems are losing more than snippets of conversation, they’re losing money.

Two-thirds of people who suffer from hearing loss are below retirement age and still working. If you’re one of them, trying to hide or ignore the problem could cost you, a new study has found.

Untreated hearing loss, depending on how severe the loss is, cut household income by an average of nearly $23,000 per year, according to the study by the not-for-profit Better Hearing Institute.

Hearing loss prevents employees from fully engaging in meetings and conversation, which fuels anger, instability and anxiety, while giving co-workers the impression that they’re less competent, said Sergei Kochkin, the institute’s executive director.

People with untreated hearing problems are more likely to work into their 70s and 80s because lower salaries along the way add up to less retirement and investment savings in the end, Kochkin said.

“You’re going to be greeting people at Wal-Mart and Costco to supplement your income,” he said.

While many workers fear that getting a hearing aid will make them appear old or disabled, the opposite is true, Kochkin said.

The use of hearing aids mitigated the effects of hearing loss on income by about 50 per cent, the survey found.

“Hearing loss is much more noticeable than hearing aids,” he said.

Original article.