A new Merck Study finds that 63% of Americans now believe that getting hearing aids are a must to maintain a quality of life with hearing loss.
This represents a huge shift in the “collective” thinking about hearing tech in the US. Around 8 years ago, the US Department of Health & Human Services reported that only around 20% of people who would benefit from hearing aids are wearing them.
Perceptions often change before practice so it may be a few years before we see a significant change in those numbers. But what’s driving this mass change of attitude toward hearing technology?
Let’s take a look!
52% Say Modern Hearing Aids Are Barely Noticeable
There has long been a stigma associated with wearing hearing aids. One of the top reasons was because everyone knew you were wearing one.
People felt that it made them seem older than they were. They chose to endure the constant arguments about TV volume and asking people to repeat rather than getting hearing aids.
They just didn’t see enough benefit in the technology of the time to justify getting and wearing hearing aids. But that’s changing since the majority of people now realize that few people will ever know you’re wearing them.
90% Say They Should Avoid Loud Noise; Only 64% Do
Thanks in part to online educational articles like this one, a higher percentage of people across age, education and income levels are more informed. They are aware that the leading cause of the disabling hearing loss we associate with aging is loud noise.
But because we now have advanced technologies that can mostly restore hearing, people know that they have options when noise-induced hearing loss occurs.
Prevention is always your best option. But it’s nice to know that if you don’t have a 100% track record of protecting your hearing, modern hearing aids deliver a more appealing solution than they did in decades past.
Must-Have Integrated Wearable Technologies
Do you wear a fitness tracker? How about wireless Bluetooth headphones? What about an emergency alert pendant?
Do you currently have technology that can use machine learning to learn how you hear best and automatically adjust what you hear to match it?
Modern hearing aids don’t just amplify sound.
There’re often compatible with smartphones, smart TVs and sound systems. They bring the sound straight into your ear. Some hearing aids can detect falls and other emergencies similar to an alert pendant.
They can track your daily activity and heart health like a fitness tracker. They use advanced artificial intelligence to adapt for optimal hearing in every setting. They can eliminate background noise to focus in on what you want to hear.
They can do all of this in a very compact, barely noticeable package.
Scientifically-Proven Health & Life Benefits
Finally, perceptions are changing in response to a flurry of recent scientific studies. These studies show the damaging effects of not treating hearing loss. They show the benefits of wearing hearing aids.
Among these findings, people with untreated hearing loss compared to their peers who get treatment are:
- 28% more likely to report profound sadness (depression)
- Up to 70% more likely to experience paranoid feelings
- 30% more likely to give up social activities they love and avoid people (which leads to social isolation)
- Up to 500% more likely to experience cognitive decline and memory loss (dementia)
- Up to 300% more likely to have a serious fall that lands them in the hospital
- Making around $12000 less per year in the workforce
- Experiencing a slow brain atrophy (disintegration) that doctors can see on an MRI
- Having more fights with loved ones
- More likely to go to the ER and stay longer in the hospital
- More likely to have trouble following a doctor’s instructions, causing harm.
Each of these studies didn’t stop at looking at the increased risk. They wanted to know more. In each case, the study was able to show that as hearing loss worsened, risk increased.
They were also able to show that those who were wearing hearing aids reduced their risk to the level of a same age person who still had their natural hearing.
These last two points make the studies even more influential. They don’t just point out a problem. They demonstrate that the solution works.
Hearing Aids for Hearing Loss: A Shifting Public Opinion
You’re living in the midst of a major shift in attitudes about hearing technology. Science and public perception are catching up with the reality that modern hearing aids are a must for those who want to keep their quality of life.
Speak with a hearing specialist about hearing solutions today.