A survey of 120,000 hearing aid users from around the world shows the benefits of hearing aids go above and beyond merely improved hearing.
If you have hearing loss or know someone who does, you've undoubtedly heard some of the claims about the benefits of hearing aids. Things like improved quality of life, better memory, increased happiness and improvement at work. And maybe you've wondered about the universality of these claims. I mean, come on, how much can hearing aid really improve all these aspects of life? Well, a new global survey asked that same question and found the answer to be they help a lot.
The survey of people with hearing loss who use hearing aids was conducted over two years, 2014 and 2015. The representative sample included people from Germany, the UK, the USA, Italy, Switzerland, and France. The first question they asked hearing aid users in the survey was if they were satisfied with their hearing aids, their hearing health provider, and how long they wore their hearing aids every day.
Here are the results for hours worn and satisfaction with hearing aids:
Satisfaction with Hearing Aid
Germany: 77% (hours worn per day = 8.7)
France: 84% (hours worn per day = 8.6)
UK: 70 (hours worn per day = 8.1)
Italy: 79% (hours worn per day = 8.4)
Switzerland: 81% (hours worn per day = 9.0)
USA: 83 % (hours worn per day = 11.4)
These numbers are pretty impressive, but even more impressive was that the satisfaction with hearing health providers for all of these countries was just as high or higher. In the USA 91% of people were satisfied with their hearing health provider.
People in each of these countries were additionally asked, "How often do hearing aids improve your quality of life?" And the self reported answers from people in six countries was around eighty percent or better. In the USA it was a whopping 88%!! That was nearly as good as Switzerland at 93%. The survey also showed that 50% of people generally felt that their relationships and independence and sense of safety improved with hearing aids. That's pretty remarkable. Having the ability to hear is so much more involved and important to people's lives than they often recognize. In addition to helping with these important personal aspects, people also reported that hearing aids improved memory. There has been numerous studies showing that auditory stimulation helped improve aspects of the brain, so perhaps this finding wasn't that surprising, or the fact that people found that their hearing aids improved their work. How much did they help at work? 9 out of 10 people found that hearing aids were useful to them in doing their jobs.
Wow. That's pretty impressive!
All of these important benefits of hearing aids accumulate to show how much these technologies can improve lives, so it's a no-brainer that hearing aids improved mental health. In fact the survey which compared hearing aid users and non hearing aid users showed, "There was a tendency within each country for those with hearing aids to have a lower probability of having depressive disorders than those reporting hearing difficulty who did not wear hearing aids."
If you'd like to learn about all the ways that improved hearing can make your life better, visit your hearing health provider. Don't have a hearing health provider? Click Here to be connected with a hearing health provider in your area.
Authors: Søren Hougaard, MA; Stefan Ruf, MA; Christian Egger, MA, and Harvey Abrams, PhD. Hearing Aids Improve Hearing and A LOT more! Hearing Review http://www.hearingreview.com/2016/06/hearing-aids-improve-hearing-lot/ Taken on June 9, 2016