Wearing Hearing Aids

Research from Claritas Hearing identifies why people aren’t wearing their hearing aids

14th April 2018

There are 11 million people in the UK who suffer from some form of hearing loss, and 6 to 7 million individuals who could benefit from wearing hearing aids.

An estimated 900,000 people in the UK have severe or profound hearing loss. More than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70.

But, the number of people who seek medical advice or receive treatment for their hearing loss is considerably lower than this. Only around 40% of people who need hearing aids have consulted a private audiologist or NHS GP about their hearing difficulties.

560,000 of people who have had their hearing aids fitted by the NHS (2.8 million) do not use them. A further 20% of people who have had their hearing aids fitted privately do not use them.

In fact, research conducted by the University of Manchester revealed that only 2.1% of people aged 40 to 69 years with a significant hearing problem in the presence of background noise use hearing aids regularly. We believe this is because many providers do not correctly test for and manage that specific problem properly. At Claritas Hearing, speech discrimination in background noise is one of the specific areas we focus on in our assessment and prescription.

Why don’t people wear their hearing aids?

In light of these findings, the important question to ask is simply; why?

Why, when hearing aids enable people with hearing loss to stay socially active, reduce the risk of depression, and may even reduce the risk of dementia, are people choosing not to wear them?

Research: Claritas Hearing

We surveyed some of our customers who had previously been provided hearing aids by the NHS, or purchased hearing aids from a private provider. Customers were asked about their experiences to better understand why they had decided to consult Claritas Hearing for a second opinion on their hearing health and the technology available.

Findings demonstrated the four most common reasons why customers do not to wear their hearing aids:

  • Unhappy with the performance of their current hearing aids
  • Finding their current hearing aids uncomfortable to wear
  • Feeling that their current hearing aids are too large and recognisable
  • Dissatisfaction with the aftercare and customer service provided after private purchase.
Private Hearing Aids

How we can help: the Hearing Revolution

The purpose of the Claritas Hearing Revolution is to ensure that every patient has access to the latest high-performance, fully-fitted hearing technology, and the support services required to make the most of their hearing for life.

The Hearing Revolution directly addresses what we now know are the core reasons for the lack of uptake surrounding hearing aids, by achieving positive outcomes for our patients based on a winning combination of the following:

Hearing solutions programmed for peak performance

In our survey, we found that 43% of users were unhappy with the performance of their hearing aids. This is often caused by the choice and quality of the hearing test carried out by the hearing care provider.

The Pure Tone Audiometry test is the most common test used by audiologists to assess any decline in sensitivity to sound. While this essential in determining the cause and site of any hearing loss, the results reveal very little about the effect any untreated hearing loss may have had on other key areas of communication.

Using incorrectly programmed technology that has been calibrated according to the results of just one hearing test will likely lead to poor sound quality and user experience. If this is a patient’s first experience of wearing hearing aids, then it is likely they will develop a negative relationship with hearing aids in general.

Our revolutionary hearing and listening assessment provides our Audiologists insight into how far any damage to your auditory system may have progressed. The comprehensive assessment includes a suite of different tests designed to get to the bottom of your hearing, listening, and communication difficulties.

The results of your hearing and listening assessment will inform the specific programming and calibration of any recommended hearing technology, ensuring that you are able to clearly hear in all your usual listening environments.

In-depth, customised technology fitting

It’s true that there can be a lack of comfort with old or ill-fitted hearing aids. According to our research, 22% of customers found their hearing aids uncomfortable to wear, particularly when they also wore glasses.

However, today’s modern, sleek hearing aid models are comfortable to wear all day, even if the user wears glasses.

All Claritas Hearing customers receive a thorough fitting and dispensing service, to ensure you get the right technology set up to your personal requirements.

During your dedicated fitting appointment, your Audiologist will take care to ensure that your hearing system is fitted comfortably and effectively. Your programmed hearing system will be adjusted appropriately for you, and your Audiologist will explain the different controls on hearing systems, how to change the batteries, best practice for cleaning hearing aids and how to maintain them.

Only the latest technology – and nothing less

15% of the customers we surveyed cited the appearance of their hearing aids as their main reason for not wearing them; desiring a more cosmetic and discreet model. Thankfully, big, bulky hearing aids are a thing of the past. Today’s hearing aids are considerably smaller and more discreet than ever before.

Some hearing aids, such as Completely in Canal (CIC) or Invisible in Canal (IIC), sit within the ear canal rather than behind the ear, and look almost completely invisible.

Due to continued developments in modern hearing aid technology, there is an ever-growing selection of design features available to suit any hearing difficulties and lifestyle requirements. Some of the latest hearing aids and associated technology have even been awarded accolades specifically recognising their outstanding product design.

Claritas Hearing has developed strong partnerships and work closely with several world-leading hearing aid manufacturers. This approach ensures that we aren’t restricted to the technologies and hearing aid styles of one provider, so our Audiologists are equipped to always dispense the right technology to each patient.

If your Claritas Hearing Audiologist determines that you could benefit from a hearing system, they will interview you about your lifestyle and ask about your personal style preferences. This information, coupled with the results of your comprehensive hearing assessment, will inform the style of hearing system they recommend to you.

Exemplary aftercare and rehabilitation support

Where hearing technology is considered, the products themselves are a small part of the overall service package you should receive from your audiologist.

The Modernising Hearing Aid Services (MHAS) and NHS Outcome Framework supports this. They concluded that patients had better outcomes if audiologists provided advice and support, and that these factors can be more important than the technology itself.

A Claritas Hearing Audiologist can work with you to build a bespoke rehabilitation and servicing plan to make sure you get the most out of your technology.

The best hearing rehabilitation pathway is the one that works for you. Each person’s journey to better hearing is different, and our Audiologists can give you access to the information, expertise, and support you need to regain the full experience of hearing the world through sound.

With our hearing care package add-ons, you can access the expertise of a Claritas Hearing Audiologist and Clinical Case Manager (CCM) to continue to support you after you have purchased your hearing system – whenever you need them.

Book a free hearing and listening assessment

Call 0808 149 8686 or fill in the contact form to book your free hearing and listening assessment worth £300.


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