05 July 2011

Many Europeans think they have a hearing loss

The largest European study ever carried out concerning hearing and hearing loss, which involved 45,000 participants, shows that one in eight believes that they have a hearing loss.

In Germany, 15.1% of people over the age of 18 think they have a hearing loss. In France, that figure is 12.7% while in England it is 11.5%. This is, on average, one in eight. The study shows that two out of three hearing impaired Europeans do not use hearing aids, even though the study also shows that they could benefit from using them.

Hearing aids make a great difference
The study shows that hearing aid users find that their hearing aids have a significant, positive impact on their lives. Users are most satisfied with their hearing aids when it comes to conversations with individuals or in smaller groups as well as when watching TV.

Doctor's opinion important
Recommendations from a GP, an ENT doctor or an audiologist play a significant role when a hearing impaired person decides to use hearing aids. This is especially true of the GP.

“The survey documents the important role of the GP and the ENT-doctor. I can therefore only urge medical professionals to be aware that one in eight of their patients self-report that they are hard of hearing and that more than 60% of them do not use hearing aids even though it is well documented by many surveys that hearing aids improve hearing, social life and quality of life,” said Secretary General Søren Hougaard, EHIMA - The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association - the organisation behind the survey.

The study also concludes that two out of three hearing impaired non-users in Germany, England and France do not know that they can get hearing aids for free or receive a subsidy when they buy hearing aids.

The largest European study ever
The study is the largest of its kind in Europe and is constructed with the well-known American MarkeTrak Survey as a model.

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