media release

study proves positive influence of hearing aids

Study-proves-positive-influence-of-hearing-aids-Hear-the-World-Foundation

Staefa, Switzerland, November 23, 2011

New international study, “Hearing is Living” by Hear the World, debunks common myth around hearing loss and hearing aids. The initial study results show a significant advantage as eight in 10 (82.8 percent) people surveyed from the United States who wear a hearing aid reported an increase in quality of life and two-thirds (67.5 percent) noted a better relationship with their partners. 

The study results also show there may be less of a vanity issue with hearing aids as 86.7 percent said they wear their hearing aid openly and confidently, and experience positive reactions from the people around them (77.3 percent). 

An estimated 36 million adults in the United States have some degree of hearing loss. However, far more important than the statistics are the effects of hearing loss for each person affected. Sometimes people with unaided hearing loss struggle with social isolation, relationship problems, disadvantages in everyday life and even depression. Modern hearing aids improve the quality of life of the people affected and help them to be able to participate fully in life once more.

“Over the last five years, Hear the World has been raising awareness about the importance of hearing and working to dispel many myths associated with hearing loss and hearing aids. Although hearing is of central importance for almost all spheres of life, there are still too many people who are freely denying themselves a substantial degree of quality of life without realizing it,” explains Susan Whichard, Executive Director of Industry Relations, Phonak, LCC. "With our study "Hearing is Living", we want to make people more conscious that it is worth valuing and protecting their own hearing and encourage them to do something about their hearing loss."

To find out more about the significance of hearing for quality of life, Hear the World, the worldwide initiative of the leading manufacturer of hearing aids, Phonak, initiated the study "Hearing is Living". To this end, more than 4,300 people in the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the UK were interviewed by the Swiss market research and strategy consultancy, zehnvier. These included people with a hearing aid, people with unaided hearing loss, relatives of people with hearing loss and a neutral control group. Here is an overview of the initial results for those surveyed in the United States:

  • 86.7 percent of those interviewed wear their hearing aid openly and confidently.
  • Over three-fourths (77.3 percent) of those interviewed report that other people react positively to their hearing aid.
  • For 60.1 percent of those interviewed, their hearing aid is so natural that they even forget that they are wearing it.
  • 62.7 percent of those interviewed can no longer imagine life without a hearing aid and almost half (47.7 percent) said they should have started using a hearing aid much earlier.
  • 82.8 percent of the hearing aid users interviewed have been enjoying a higher quality of life since they have been wearing a hearing aid.*
  • 67.5 percent of those interviewed claim that their relationship with their partner has improved since they have been wearing a hearing aid.*

* Data in percentages of top 3 boxes (a little / significantly / very much so)