A better life with hearing aids

To many people adapting to hearing aids can be a challenge. But most often, the reward for overcoming initial difficulties is a significant improvement in quality of life.

A Finnish study investigated the emotional problems associated with hearing loss and how to alleviate them.

The study found that 56 percent of hearing impaired people suffer adverse effects in their daily life because of their hearing loss. Many isolate themselves and feel that their quality of life is diminished. 58 percent feel embarrassed and 64 percent feel handicapped.

Hearing aids and advice can improve the quality of life. Using hearing aids on a daily basis, more than 30 percent experience improvements in six months.

Increased hearing aid usage

Follow-up advice or counseling is important for achieving the best benefits from wearing hearing aids. Counseling improves the hearing aid users' understanding and use of the devices.

Fewer hearing aids end up in the drawer. According to the study, the number of people wearing hearing aids has increased sharply - by between 69 and 90 percent - over the most recent 20 years. This is due mainly to modern hearing aids becoming miniaturized, less obtrusive and easier to fit to the individual hearing aid user. This combined with improved counseling makes the hearing aids experience more comfortable.

About the study

The report was prepared in collaboration with Finland's Oulu University and was based on previous surveys and qualitative and quantitative investigations among people aged 40=84 years.

Source: Arja Vuorialho (2006): Cost and Effectiveness of Hearing Aid Rehabilitation in the Elderly (Rapport)