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How Would Your Life Change If You Couldn’t Hear?

July 23, 2010

Americans believe that their social life and their safety would suffer the most if they had a substantial hearing loss, but think it would have little impact on their sex life or income, according to a new public
opinion survey commissioned by HearUSA, a national provider of hearing care and hearing aids. The survey of 1,000 nationally-representative adults, conducted for HearUSA by Kelton Research, asked: If you had a significant hearing loss, which do you think would suffer the most?

The results:
Social life or relationships with friends--29%
Family relationships--13%
Job performance--12%
Leisure and recreational activities--9%
Overall Health--4%
Sex life--1%

Some other findings of the HearUSA survey:

• Nearly 40 percent of older Americans (55+) believe that their social life and friendships would suffer the most from a hearing loss
• Women are more likely than men to feel that their family relationships would suffer the most
• Twice as many parents think their family relationships would be most impaired by a hearing loss compared to those respondents without children

Stephen Hansbrough, HearUSA chairman and CEO, said, “Studies have shown that, left untreated, even mild hearing loss can lead to avoidance of social situations, reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety, diminished overall health,and reduced job performance and earning power. Untreated hearing loss can also jeopardize family and intimate relationships. Yet, while hearing aids can benefit almost everyone with a hearing loss,” said Hansbrough, “they are used by only one in four of the 36 million Americans with a hearing problem.” He said that while cost was a major factor, other barriers to greater acceptance of hearing aids were perceived stigma, unfamiliarity with today’s digital hearing aids technology and a confusing marketplace. “Hearing loss is a major public health issue and HearUSA believes that hearing care needs to be recognized as a medical necessity and made more affordable, accessible and accountable,” said Hansbrough.

HearUSA is the recognized leader in hearing care for the nation's top managed care organizations through its 177 company-owned centers and network of more than 2,000 hearing care providers. HearUSA is the nation's only hearing care network accredited by URAC, an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation. The company is also the administrator of the AARP Hearing Care Program, designed to help millions of Americans aged 50+ who have hearing loss. For more information, go to