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Study Reveals: Many Americans Decide Against A Treatment For Their Hearing Loss
Date:2/22/2017

Forty-five percent of American respondents feel that they have difficulty hearing and 72 percent of those report that family members or friends have also commented about their poor hearing. However, only 13 percent of those who think they suffer from hearing loss wear hearing aids. One reason, suggested by 89 percent of American respondents, is that they don’t want to publicly acknowledge their hearing loss. This and further facts were revealed in an international study, “How the world hears” by the Hear the World Foundation.

The ear is our most powerful sensory organ: Used 24 hours a day, the ear can recognize up to 400,000 sounds and process some 50 sensations every second – twice as many as our eyes do. Unfortunately, the ear’s importance is often neglected in our visually orientated word. By publishing the study “How the world hears”, the Hear the World Foundation aims to increase public awareness and emphasize the importance of good hearing while also sharing tips on how people can protect their hearing.

The most significant results for the U.S. at a glance:

  • Self-assessed awareness of hearing loss: Around half (45 percent) of those surveyed think that they have difficulty hearing occasionally. Of those, 58 percent think they have mild hearing loss, 34 percent think they have moderate hearing loss and three percent think they have severe hearing loss.
  • Awareness raised by family and friends: For those who recognize they have trouble hearing, 72 percent have heard remarks from family members and friends about their poor hearing. This was true for only 11 percent of respondents who were sure their hearing was good.
  • Hearing tests: 36 percent of respondents have had their hearing tested within the last five years.
  • Few wear hearing aids: Only 13 percent of the Americans surveyed, who think they suffer from hearing loss, actually wear hearing aids.
  • A possible reason: 89 percent of respondents believe, at least somewhat, that people decide against hearing aids because they don’t want to publicly acknowledge their hearing loss. Thirty-six percent are convinced this is a reason.

Hearing loss often untreated – motivation from family can help

These study results show that even when family and friends of someone with hearing loss notice and comment about their poor hearing, very few people decide to use hearing aids.

"The process from initial awareness to treatment of a hearing loss requires time. Family members and friends can play an important role in it, by accompanying the person affected by hearing loss through the process. Our experience shows that people with hearing loss, who have the support of their loved ones, more often decide to wear hearing aids and are happier with this decision,“ said Dr. Prof. Jerry L. Northern, Professor Emeritus at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Advisory Board member of the Hear the World Foundation.

In addition to the person affected, family members and friends are benefiting from the decision to wear hearing aids, which is reflected in the Hear the World Foundation's study "Hearing is living". Seventy eight percent of respondents wearing hearing aids said that the activities in the circle of friends have changed positively, and 73 percent say the relationship with their family members has improved since they are wearing hearing aids.

Tips to protect hearing:

  • Do not turn music up too loud: noise levels below 85 dB are considered safe for our hearing. If you listen to music through audio devices, do not turn it up any louder than 60 percent of the maximum volume.
  • Listen to music through headphones that fit well and block out background noise, as this will enable you to enjoy music at a low volume even in noisy surroundings.
  • Wear earplugs at concerts and clubs and in other noisy environments. They can reduce the noise level by 5 to 45 dB.
  • Use smartphone apps to measure the level of background noise to which you are exposing your ears.
  • To give your ears a rest, make a conscious effort to take acoustic breaks and turn off all noise sources.
  • Have your hearing regularly checked by a hearing care professional.

About the study

From September to November 2015, the market research organization Research Now asked 1,000 women and men aged between 16 and 55 in Germany, Switzerland, the USA, Brazil, and China about the issues of hearing and hearing loss for the “How the World Hears” study.

About the Hear the World Foundation

By supporting the charitable Hear the World Foundation, Sonova is campaigning for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. As a leading provider of hearing care solutions, Sonova fosters social responsibility and contributes towards a world where everyone has the chance to enjoy good hearing. For instance, the Hear the World Foundation supports disadvantaged people with hearing loss around the world and gets involved in prevention. It focuses particularly on projects for children with hearing loss, to enable them to develop at the appropriate rate for their age. Since its establishment in 2006 the Swiss foundation supported over 80 projects in 39 countries and thus helped thousands of people to hear better. More than 100 celebrity ambassadors, including celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Plácido Domingo, Annie Lennox and Sting champion the Hear the World Foundation.
http://www.hear-the-world.com/en

The infographic in high resolution to download you find here: https://www.hear-the-world.com/images/press/downloads/htw_infografik_wie_bitte3.png

Further knowledge about hearing and hearing loss you find here: http://www.hear-the-world.com/en/knowledge/overview-knowledge

For any further information please contact:
Hear the World Foundation
Louise Kaben
E-Mail: louise(dot)kaben(at)hear-the-world(dot)com     
Tel: +41 58 928 01 01

US Public Relations
Beth Fichtel
E-mail: brgelbert(dot)yahoo(dot)com
Phone: +1 (914) 588-2695

Cassandra Hegarty
E-mail: cassandra(dot)hegarty(at)gmail(dot)com
Phone: +1 (917) 653-4038

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/02/prweb14089631.htm.


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