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Listen to This: Hearing Problems Can Stress Relationships

Energizer All Ears survey reveals being hard of hearing can cause hard feelings between spouses

May 1, 2008 (St. Louis, MO) In conjunction with Better Speech and Hearing Month in May, Energizer Battery, Inc. conducted a recent survey1 of Baby Boomers whose spouses suffer from hearing loss to understand how a hearing impairment can affect a relationship. The survey found that nearly half (47.8 percent) of the respondents feel that their marriage has suffered because of their spouses hearing loss.

The survey, which polled men and women ages 44 to 62, is part of the Energizer Specialty Batteries division that supports the KEEP GOING. Live Healthy campaign. This campaign encourages baby boomers to lead healthy, active lifestyles with some help from battery-powered devices. Key survey findings include:

  • Being hard of hearing can cause hard feelings. Nearly seven out of ten (64.8 percent) respondents feel annoyed when their spouse can not hear them. In addition, 16.4 percent feel ignored and 8.1 percent feel sad or hurt.
  • Raised voices become more familiar. More than half (59.8 percent) find themselves in recent years talking louder daily so their spouse can hear them. And 83.4 percent feel that if they do talk loud enough, it helps their spouse better understand what they are saying.
  • Is it hearing loss, or selective hearing? While 45.3 percent of respondents believe their spouse doesnt hear chore requests, 77.5 percent say their spouse can hear them fix a snack.

1The survey was conducted online with a random sample of 1065 men and women, 44 -62 years of age (Baby Boomers) who have a spouse that suffers from hearing loss all members of the CyberPulseTM Advisory Panel. The Advisory Panel has been carefully selected to closely match US population demographics and the respondents are representative of American men and women 18 +. Research was conducted in March 2008. The overall sampling error rate for this survey is +/-3% at the 95% level of confidence.

  • Nearly half believe their spouse is in denial about their hearing loss. Of the Boomers surveyed, 56.8 percent feel their spouse is reluctant to get his or her hearing checked. Nearly half (46.4 percent) feel that denial is the number one reason their significant other is hesitant to get his or her hearing checked.
  • Hearing screenings are few and far between. More than a third (35.6 percent) know their spouse hasnt had his or her hearing checked in more than three years. Moreover, 23.4 percent revealed that their spouse has never had his or her hearing checked.

This study illustrates that hearing loss affects more than the person experiencing it, said Dr. Bary Williams, audiologist. Whether it is diagnosed hearing loss or a slight case of selective hearing, couples must work together and encourage healthy hearing habits.

Dr. Williams also stresses the connection between hearing screenings and maintaining a high quality of life. For example, untreated hearing loss could mean the difference between living independently and requiring assistance, says Dr. Williams. If you cant hear the phone, doorbell, fire alarm, etc., its going to be extremely difficult to maintain your independence. If you have a hearing issueand one-third of boomers think they doget a hearing screening to determine if you need a hearing aid, he advises. If not, you put yourself and others at risk.

And for those who need a hearing aid, Dr. Williams says dont despair. Thanks to technological advancements in hearing devices and their batteries, people can find solutions to meet their specific needs and lifestyles. Energizer has introduced new perforated packaging for its hearing aid batteries that is easier and more convenient to carry and use. Energizer also continues to offer the Energizer EZ Change, the first and only hearing aid battery dispenser that allows users to insert their batteries without having to handle the tiny batteries or tabs.

We know it is often difficult for people in a relationship to overcome the stigmas related to hearing loss, and were trying to set the record straight through this program, said Stacey Harbour, director of marketing for Specialty Batteries at Energizer. We want to educate people about hearing loss prevention, as well as provide solutions for others to manage their hearing health, so they can live active and enjoyable lifestyles.

For additional information on hearing health and fitness tips, or to learn more about Energizers KEEP GOING. Live Healthy program, visit energizer.com/livehealthy. To find an audiologist, go to asha.org.

About Energizer:

Energizer Holdings, Inc. [NYSE: ENR], www.energizer.com, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the worlds largest manufacturers of primary batteries, battery-powered devices and flashlights. Energizer, a global leader in the dynamic business of providing portable power geared toward the new digital age, offers a full portfolio of products including, the Energizer MAX premium alkaline brand; Energizer e2 Lithium and Energizer e2 Titanium Technology performance brands; Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable batteries and chargers; and miniatures brand batteries.

The Energizer product line also includes specialty batteries for hearing aids and medical devices, as well as for keyless remote entry systems, toys and other uses. Through its flashlight unit, Energizer brings innovation to this important household device. Energizer continues its role as a technology leader as it launches Energizer Energi To Go, portable battery-driven power packs for cell phones.

About Bary Williams

Dr. Bary Williams, AuD-CCC-A, is a 30 year hearing health industry veteran who was born with significant hearing loss that he never let slow him down. His extensive management work history in industry consulting, manufacturing, multi-site practice management, and voluminous practitioner training exposure has been varied and unique. He was the founder and former President/CEO of American Hearing Benefits, Inc., one of the largest hearing health care benefits providers in America. Hes been a featured speaker at numerous national, state and regional conventions, with extensive experience at each and every level of the hearing health care industry.

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