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More than 9 Out of 10 Consumers Say Hearing Aids Improve Quality of Life, New Survey From Better Hearing Institute Reveals

Vast majority are satisfied with hearing aids effectiveness in different listening situations, quality and clarity of sound and other measures.

Alexandria, VA, September 6, 2005 - An overwhelming majority (93%) of consumers with hearing devices say the devices have improved their quality of life, according to a survey of more than 1500 consumers by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI). Eighty five percent (85%) say they are satisfied with the benefits they get from hearing instruments.

Our survey indicates that hearing instruments are among the most highly regarded products in the country today, said Sergei Kochkin, PhD, Executive Director of BHI. Too many people cling to the old, stubborn belief that wearing a hearing aid wont help fix their hearing problems. We hope this survey convinces them that once they try hearing aids, their lives could dramatically improve.

The survey found that the overall customer satisfaction rating was 71% for hearing instruments that are less than six years old. This was measured by responses to questions on the quality and clarity of the sound, signal processing, value, reliability of the instrument, product features, effectiveness in different listening situations, as well as the perceived benefits of improved hearing. The complete consumer satisfaction study is published in the September issue of The Hearing Journal.

Ninety percent (90%) of the respondents said their hearing instruments improved communication in one-on-one situations and more than eight out of ten were satisfied by the instruments performance in small groups and while watching television. Three of four respondents were satisfied with their instruments when outdoors, while listening to music, while participating in leisure activities, in the car, at a house of worship and in a restaurant. The most difficult listening situations were using a telephone, using a cell phone and in large group situations.

The survey also indicates that modern technology and new refinements in hearing devices enhance consumer satisfaction. Nearly half (47%) of the respondents used digital --as opposed to analog--hearing devices and, among these, the overall consumer satisfaction rating was 77%.

The respondents cited a number of specific improvements to their quality of life because of hearing instruments: more effective communications (71%), better social life (56%) relationships at home (55%) and in the work place (48%), improved emotional health (40%), improved mental/cognitive ability (35%), even better physical health (24%).

When asked if they would recommend hearing instruments to their friends, 79% said they would and 73% would recommend the person who fitted them with hearing instruments. In general, hearing care professionals received top marks, with a 92% satisfaction rating.

The Better Hearing Institute, founded in 1973 and based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a not-for-profit organization that educates the public about the neglected problem of hearing loss and what can be done about it. It is working to:

  • Erase the stigma and end the embarrassment that prevents millions of people from seeking help for hearing loss.
  • Show the negative consequences of untreated hearing loss for millions of Americans.
  • Promote treatment and demonstrate that this is a national problem that can be solved.

The consumer satisfaction study was based on a nationally representative survey mailed in January, 2005, to 3,000 randomly selected owners of hearing instruments using the National Family Opinion Panel. To download a copy of Consumer Satisfaction with Hearing Instruments in the Digital Age, or to find out more about BHI and solutions to hearing problems, visit the Better Hearing Institute website at www.betterhearing.org

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