Hearing Aids and Patient Satisfaction
According to Stats Canada the number of seniors aged 65 and over increased 14.1% between 2006 and 2011 to nearly 5 million. This rate of growth was higher than that of children in Canada. With the population getting older the prevalence of hearing loss is predicted to rise. The National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders reports that approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
Although hearing loss is on the rise due to our aging population, many people do not wear hearing aids. Only 25% of people with hearing loss actually wear hearing aids (Kochkin, 2007). There are numerous reasons why people do not to wear them. Research indicates that people believe that hearing aids may not provide benefit. Individuals may be worried about fit, comfort issues, appearance or cost of the hearing aids. Many people worry about the stigma of getting older that comes with hearing aids (McCormack, 2013). Some individuals find the overall maintenance like changing a battery or cleaning the hearing aid difficult to manage. The reality is that first time users of hearing aids report an 81% satisfaction rate (Kochkin, 2010).
Most people are unaware of how far hearing aid technology has come. Hearing aids today can adjust to different environments automatically without the user having to touch it. Research indicates that hearing aids can improve quality of life, allow for speech understanding, heighten awareness, and safety and increase self confidence (Tsakiropoulou, et al., 2007). This allows for a more engaging lifestyle and more active participation in group situations. Hearing aids can be comfortable and barely visible to people around you. Most people are unaware of the funding that is available for hearing aids in Ontario. Your registered Audiologist will go over funding opportunities with you at your hearing aid evaluation. It is important for you to express your concerns with your registered Audiologist in order to determine which hearing aid will best address your needs.
For more information, please contact HEARING HEALTHCARE of East Gwillimbury
Call (905) 478-2929
National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/older.aspx
Kochkin S. (2007). MarkeTrak VII: Obstacles to adult non-user adoption of hearing aids. Hearing Journal, 60, 27-43.
Kochkin, S. (2010). MarketTrak VIII: consumer satisfaction with hearing aids is slowly increasing. The Hearing Journal, 63, 19-20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30-32.
McCormack, A. & Fortnum, H. (2013). Why do people fitted with hearing aids not wear them? Internal Journal of Audiology,52, 360-368.
Tsakiropoulou, E., et al. (2007). Hearing aids: Quality of life and socio-economic aspects. Hippokratia. Oct-Dec; 11: 183–186.