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October 09, 2009

Hearing aid stigma is French toast

Ninety-two percent of the French population would be willing to use hearing aids, if necessary, according to a new study.

Hearing aid stigma is French toast

The French have a positive disposition towards the use of hearing aids. Ninety-two percent of those responding to a survey, conducted by the Ipsos polling firm said they would be willing to use hearing aids. The survey was associated with the ” journée nationale de l’audition”, the national hearing day. The respondents were particularly pleased with the design and functionality of modern hearing aid technology.

The survey indicated a generally high degree of confindence in hearing aids among the population of France. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents said that they believe hearing aids can help in restoring hearing fully or partially, and 60 percent said they were convinced that the transition back to a normal life with hearing aids is relatively brief.

Changes in attitude

The positive attitudes towards hearing aids seems to be part of a general change in attitudes towards hearing loss. Today, 68 percent of the population in France are aware that hearing loss occurs at all ages, and hearing aids are no longer just associated with older age groups.

At the same time, the French recognise that they are personally responsible for their hearing. More than half of them believe that hearing loss is mainly a result of exposure to excessive noise in risk zones and failure to protect the ears.

Generation gap

However, the survey demonstrated a gap in attitudes between generations. Young Frenchmen speak more highly about hearing aids, whereas the 60 years and older generation appears to be generally more skeptical and dissatisfied with, what they see as poor effects, high prices and high co-pay of hearing aids. The older age group also believes that hearing loss is primarily genetically coinditioned.

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