Tackling EuroTrak: Hearing Aid Adoption
According to the EuroTrak 2018 surveys for Germany and France, around 40% of those with hearing loss have received a hearing test in the past five years. Roughly 80% of these people discussed their hearing loss with a doctor, and over 55% of them were suggested hearing aids. However, less than half of those diagnosed with hearing loss choose to get hearing aids for themselves.
Hearing Aid Adoption
According to the EuroTrak 2018 survey, the adoption of hearing aids has risen more than 2% every year since 2015. This upward trajectory implies further growth and possible acceleration.
As the technology and audio quality in hearing aids steadily improve, more and more people are opening themselves up to the idea of being fitted with hearing aids. Size also plays a large role in whether or not hard of hearing people choose to invest in hearing aids. With the devices getting smaller and more compact every year, the likelihood of people adopting hearing aids is rising. Advancements like Bluetooth connectivity and OVP (Own Voice Processing) are also helping to pique interest in hearing aids.
The Route to Hearing Aids
Once they were tested, around 70% of those with hearing loss were referred to an ear doctor by their general practitioner. When asked how they researched hearing aids, a significant proportion of respondents (21-26%) said that they used the internet to research hearing aids themselves. This information came from search engines, manufacturer websites, and hearing aid clinics.
Of the 59% that turned down hearing aids, 44-48% of them did not research hearing aids. While the study touched on personal reasons why they might refuse hearing aids, misconceptions or lack of information likely contributed to their decision.
Reasons Behind Refusing Hearing Aids
In the French EuroTrak study, one of the main reasons for refusing hearing aids is the cost. Between appointments with an audiologist, fitting sessions, and the device itself, many people believe that hearing aids are out of their price range. However, only 38% of these people think that a third party would be willing to pay for part of the cost.
In the German portion of the survey, the primary reason for denying hearing aids is that respondents are unhappy with how the hearing aids perform in noisy situations. Many of these respondents report that they hear well enough in normal situations.
In the French study, 51% of non-users cite embarrassment as a reason for not getting hearing aids. Many of them feel that they would experience social exclusion because of using hearing aids, and that the devices clash with their self-image. While only 32% of German non-users felt this way, this is still a significant number.
For this reason, hearing aid manufacturers continue to work to reduce prejudices through appealing design and increasing functionality, and to communicate these growing benefits in close cooperation with hearing care professionals. These efforts aim to remove outdated preconceptions and allow more and more people to learn about the capabilities of modern hearing aids.
Read More EuroTrak 2018 Results
Started in 2009 by the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), the EuroTrak survey analyzes information from thousands of people with hearing loss in several European countries. A large number of these participants also have hearing aids, and their answers to the questionnaire give us a look into the views of hearing aid wearers. Read in our series what we gathered from the EuroTrak 2018 survey in France and Germany, Europe’s two largest hearing aid markets.