Hearing aids don’t work? That’s a myth, survey of hearing aid wearers finds

WASHINGTON, DC–According to a nationwide survey, 59% of the people with hearing loss who have chosen not to purchase hearing aids say they have made that decision because, in their opinion, hearing aids don’t work. However, the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) has recently released data from a national survey of more than 2000 hearing aid wearers, demonstrating that in the great majority of cases, hearing aids do work for those who wear them.

The BHI study finds that 79% of people who do seek help and use hearing aids are satisfied with them, and 86% are satisfied with the benefit they derive.

The four-part MarkeTrak VIII survey goes a long way to refute the commonly held belief that hearing aids are ineffective. To publicize the MarkeTrak VIII findings, BHI has issued a national press release on the key findings from these studies. A second release comes in a locally customizable form that hearing healthcare professionals can use to promote the use of hearing aids in their local communities.

 

KEY FINDINGS

In BHI’s announcement, Sergei Kochkin, PhD, executive director of the institute, states, “This survey clearly reveals how dramatically people’s lives can improve with the use of hearing aids. In this study of hearing aid users, we looked at 14 specific quality-of-life issues and found that today’s hearing aids are a tremendous asset to people with even mild hearing loss who want to remain active and socially engaged throughout their lives.”

Kochkin adds, “The improvements that people saw in their quality of life as a result of using hearing aids were broad and varied. Nearly 70% said their ability to communicate effectively in most situations improved because of their hearing aid. More than half said their hearing aids improved their relationships at home, their social life, and their ability to join in groups. And roughly 40% noted improvements in their sense of safety, self-confidence, feelings about self, sense of independence, and work relationships.

“Between 25 and 33% of hearing aid users said they even saw improvements in their romance, sense of humor, cognitive skills, and mental, emotional, and physical health.”

 

“OUTDATED NOTIONS”

According to Kochkin, outdated notions about hearing aids pose a significant barrier that inhibits people from addressing their hearing loss. Public perception of hearing aids hasn’t kept pace with the new technologies and discreet designs of today’s advanced devices. “Unfortunately,” says the BHI leader, “these misperceptions are holding people back from improving their quality of life by addressing their hearing loss.

To help consumers in purchasing hearing aids, and to guide them in what to look for in quality hearing healthcare, BHI has published a comprehensive publication entitled, Your Guide to Buying Hearing Aids, which is available at http://www.betterhearing.org, in the “Hearing Loss Treatments” section under hearing aids.