#HearingFactFriday: Is history keeping you from better hearing?

Over half a billion people under 65 have hearing loss in the world today! With such a large number, why is it that the number of adults 69 and older who could benefit from using hearing aids in 2010 was so low? And why, as we can see in this chart from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, did hearing aid use start to rise in 2011 and 2012?

Before 2010: Hearing aid stigma

In 2010, a study by Margaret I. Wallhagen, Ph.D., found that the perceived stigma surrounding hearing loss negatively impacted an individual’s initial acceptance of their hearing loss along with several other important decision-making factors. The perceived stigma also impacted whether or not a person would get their hearing tested, the type of hearing aids they selected, and when and where the person wore the hearing aids.

Wallhagen’s study also found that a person’s age, vanity, change in self-perception, relationships, overall health and even the media further influenced how individuals handled their hearing loss.

2016: Things are changing!

Now though, a new study has emerged to show that things are changing. In September 2016, a study published in the Journal of American Academy of Audiology revealed a resounding theme of “normalization” of hearing aids via their integration with normal, everyday technology like mobile phones. In simpler terms, today’s hearing aids (like our Halo 2 devices) that work with mobile technology are changing the way people see hearing aids. Instead of embarrassing medical devices, hearing aids are being perceived as cool, innovative hearables that provide real-time lifestyle benefits and entertainment value.

“My default link to the audible internet.”

Don’t take our word alone either. Mother Nature Network writer Lloyd Alter said it best in his recent article “Newest hearables will change the way people think about hearing aids”: “Now, even when I'm alone in my home office and don’t need to wear them for hearing, I'm putting the Halo 2s on because they have become my default link to the audible internet. They're not a stigma to me; they're a super power. As hearing aids, these devices have changed my life by letting me hear the immediate world around me; as hearables, they are wiring me directly into a much larger world.”

Ready to learn more about what hearing aids can do for you? Click here to learn about all our hearing aid options, and then use our Hearing Aid Finder tool to find the hearing aids that are right for you.


By Starkey Hearing