Sergei Kochkin, an American hearing expert, has carried out various studies, the MarkeTrak Surveys, of hearing impaired Americans and their use of hearing aids. In his 2008 survey, MarkeTrak VIII, he found that:
- More than 35 million Americans, 11.3 percent of the population, were hearing impaired.
- More than 25 million of them did not have a hearing aid.
- Only about 28.5 percent of hearing impaired Americans actually use hearing aids.
Furthermore, among people who suspect that their hearing is impaired, three in four wait for years before seeking treatment. The ratio is unchanged even among those whose suspicion is confirmed. Those are the findings of a new online survey conducted by hear-it.org.
Many hearing impaired people live with their untreated hearing loss for years, according to a new survey conducted by the non-commercial hear-it organization. Three in four people, who suspect that their hearing is impaired, said they believe that they have suffered from their hearing loss for more than a year. 37.5 percent said that they have lived with their untreated hearing loss for more than five years.
‘My hearing loss got worse’ is the main reason, given by 55.4 percent in an American survey, when hearing impaired people decide to get their first hearing aid. Many of them experience an improvement in their quality of life as they adapt to their hearing aids.
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 programs 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.