Why Are People with Hearing Loss Not Using Hearing Instruments?

The first line of treatment for people with hearing loss is often, hearing aids. But recent studies show that most of those who could benefit from hearing aids do not wear them. According to the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES), only one in seven people over the age of 50, who have hearing loss, are using a hearing device. That means only 14% of the 26 million people with hearing loss are taking advantage of devices that will help them hear better.

Just as surprising, the average age of a first-time hearing aid user is 74 years old. These same people are often dealing with the hearing loss for up to 10 years before they get hearing aids. So, why aren’t people using hearing aids to help improve their hearing?

Lack of Hearing Aid Usage: Comfort, Price, Effectiveness, what is it?

There is a list of reasons people offer about why they don’t use hearing aids when it may be helpful for them. Dr. Linda S. Remensnyder, an audiologist from Illinois, says that the number one reason is that people believe their hearing is fine. People with hearing difficulties may believe this because hearing loss can happen gradually. This gradual loss causes them to not notice the signs of hearing loss. Those who face hearing loss can hear well in quiet settings but have trouble hearing in noisy situations. This leads them to believe the problem is the sounds around them being too loud.

The fear of a negative image often keeps us from addressing issues that may impact us. The fear of looking old or receiving judgment from others often prevents people with hearing loss from using hearing instruments. With newer, modern hearing devices that are more discreet, the negative image people fear almost non-existent. Also, they will help the individual function better in various environments.

Another thing that keeps people from using hearing aids might be the price tag. The cost of hearing aids as well as their maintenance can be high. People who are retired and are on a fixed income feel that they are unable to afford them. Shifting the mindset from affordability to viewing hearing devices as an investment that improves their overall quality of life lets one see that they’re well worth the price tag.

Reasons range from stories of friends who are having issues using hearing devices to feeling that they are too complicated to use. Everyone has different experiences when it comes to hearing loss, and with the great modernization of hearing devices, comfort and usage has improved greatly.

It’s an Investment

Whatever the reason for not using a hearing aid, it is important to understand those hearing devices are an investment that will greatly improve your quality of life. Continuing to not use hearing aids often leads to other health problems.

The most obvious one is the fact that those who face hearing loss are missing out on real human connections. This could lead to social isolation. According to Dr. Frank Lin, assistant professor of Otolaryngology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, mild hearing loss can triple the risk of a fall. Furthermore, there have been studies that suggest a hearing loss is linked to dementia. Mild hearing loss can lead to doubling the dementia risk, while a moderate hearing loss may triple the risk.

Knowledge is Power

It’s so important to understand that hearing aids aren’t going to completely fix lost function. They do however maximize your ability to hear. In order to fully engage in life, you have to fully engage everywhere. If you often find yourself requiring help – a spouse that feeds back information to you in conversations due to your inability to hear – you may need to take the next step to address the hearing loss.

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, schedule an appointment today with one of our hearing professionals at Hearing Group for a hearing test. You can be on your way to improve your quality of life, specifically improving communication in relationships.

Jesse Hidalgo, BC-HIS

Jesse is Board Certified in Hearing Instruments and has built over 25 practices during his business career starting in 1998. Using his training in Hearing Instrument Sciences he has helped thousands of patients across those practices hear better.
Published: September 28, 2018

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Why You Need An Annual Hearing Test

HG recommends patients get their hearing tested once every year. An annual hearing test can catch important changes in hearing loss and is very important.

Sonic Captivate Hearing Aid Review

The Sonic Captivate is a 2020 hearing aid winner for HG. 5 technology levels, rechargeable and made for iPhone hearing aid. Read the full article and watch our video to learn more!

Affordable Hearing Aids with Sonic Cheer
So you have hearing loss and need something to help you hear better. You want affordable hearing aids that won’t break the bank but packed with as much technology as possible. You would like it to be small and discreet. Lastly, you would like to be fit by a hearing...
Signia Xperience Hearing Aids
Within the Xperience platform, there are several models of hearing aids, the Pure Charge & Go and the Styletto rechargeable hearing aids. Battery Life: With the Charge & Go, the average wear time is 23 hours a day, so your rechargeable battery is going to last...
The Different Ways People Experience Tinnitus
Tinnitus is different for everyone. While two people may experience ringing in their ears, they may perceive this sound differently. Tinnitus can also impact people in a number of ways. Some people may describe their tinnitus as a small annoyance, while others...
Unexpected Benefits of Hearing Aids
Roughly 38 million Americans have reported some degree of hearing loss. Of those 38 million people, roughly 29 million Americans could benefit from wearing hearing aids. Hearing aids will not only help you hear sounds around you a little more clearly, but they provide...
Hearing Aid Friendly Face Masks
Face masks are a standard requirement for almost everywhere. However, wearing a traditional face mask that goes around your ear can comes with its fair share of issues for hearing aid users. Many patients have been on the hunt for a hearing aid friendly mask. Amidst...
Making Your Hearing Aids More Comfortable
Have you just been fit for your first set of hearing aids? You may be experiencing some anxiety or nervousness about using something new, or you may be worried about the comfortability. We have good news for you - you are not alone. Several first-time hearing aid...
Preventing Age-Related Hearing Loss
We lose about 0.5 percent of our hearing capacity every year. This means that we lose about five percent of our hearing every ten years. Age-related hearing loss can be very frustrating. As our hearing begins to fade, we may find that it is more difficult to complete...
Noise Can Damage More Than Hearing
Loud noise is not only bad for your ears but can play a negative role in your overall health. Exposure to loud and annoying sounds can affect our blood pressure, cause headaches, cause irritability, and even cause fatigue. When we hear a sound that is annoying to us,...
Call Now Button