Hearing Aids and Quality of Life

Hesitating before you buy hearing aids online, or from an audiologist?

You're not alone. We've noted before that only 25% of Americans with hearing loss use hearing aids. Since 75% of those who would benefit do not use hearing aids, it's tempting whether to wonder whether hearing aids work.

We'll address specific reasons for non-adoption in a future post, but this week we thought we'd spend some time addressing the question of "do they work?"

Not only do hearing aids not only dramatically improve hearing, they can also have a profound positive impact on quality of life. Again, we have Hearing Review to thank for their excellent analysis of MarkeTrak VIII hearing aid data.

Do Hearing Aids Improve Hearing?

This one may seem obvious. But with 75% of the population declining to wear hearing aids, it's worth putting this question to bed. The answer is a resounding yes.

Hearing aids improve hearing dramatically, and across all listening situations. In quiet conversations, hearing aids reduce hearing handicap by an average of 70%. Even in louder situations like restaurant meals, hearing handicap reduction averages 50%.

More than 90% of hearing aid users experience a reduction in hearing handicap. This helps explain high satisfaction with hearing aids, especially with mini BTE hearing aids.

Do Hearing Aids Improve Quality of Life?

The good news is that two thirds of hearing aid users report "better" or "a lot better" quality of life for "effectiveness of communications."

The even better news is that large numbers of hearing aid users report improved quality of life for reasons that might not even seem to be related to hearing in the first place.

For example, nearly 50% of respondents reported an improved sense of safety in their day-to-day life. And more than a quarter reported "improved mental/cognitive skills." That's a pretty impressive number for a device that simply improves hearing.

In fact, hearing aids improve quality of life on a wide range of dimensions, across large sections of the population:

If you are thinking you may buy hearing aids online, or from an audiologist, you will almost certainly experience reduced hearing handicap. As a bonus, you may also experience improved quality of life in ways you might never have expected. 

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