The finding was among the results of the extensive MarkeTrak VIII survey on hearing impairment in the US, conducted in 2009 by the American hearing expert, Sergei Kochkin. The MarkeTrak surveys are published every four years.
51 percent of the respondents indicated that they agreed to accept their first hearing aid partly because their family kept telling them that they had to do something about their bad hearing. 26 percent said that the hearing health care professional had influenced their decision.
Hearing aid specialists, family doctors and free hearing aid programmes also were credited with some degree of influence.
The survey found that the average time from individuals become aware of their hearing loss until they are treated with hearing aids is 6.7 years. Non owners with hearing loss have been aware of their hearing loss for 12 years on average without seeking treatment.
Other studies have shown that hearing aids contribute to improvements in the wearers' quality of life as well as their hearing. 70 percent of the respondents in a German study found that their enjoyment of everyday life improved after they were fitted with digital hearing aids. Hearing impaired people with no hearing aid often have difficulty communicating with relatives, friends and colleagues and often feel isolated as a result.