Opinions of relatives often decisive

Hearing impaired people receptive to advice from family and hearing specialist.

The hearing specialist and close relatives are most influential when something is to be done about hearing problems. Friends and acquaintances may be positive influences, as well. These are the main conclusions of a study carried out for Forum Besser Hören in Germany.

Participants were asked whose advice carries most weight when it comes to hearing problems. 76% said they would rely on the hearing specialist. In second and third on the list of most influential advisers were close relatives at 66% and friends and acquaintances at 57%. Surprisingly few pointed to the audiologist/hearing aid dispenser (38%), people already using hearing aids (34%), or colleagues (19%) as influential sources of advice.

"This shows that the ability of close relatives to bring influence to bear on hearing impaired people is often underestimated," says Gerhard Hillig of Forum Besser Hören.

To the hearing handicapped, it is of utmost importance to be made aware of the hearing loss as early as possible, and that the people around them are supportive throughout the period of transition and treatment.

People with hearing loss but not yet fitted with hearing aids participated in the study. They were asked to judge on a scale of one (no influence on me) to 10 (greatest influence) the various groups from whom they might take advice on the hearing issues.

Source: Forum Besser Hören

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