In today’s hearing aid industry, we come across a number of companies who supply imported hearing aids and promise the best hearing fit. Each company has a wide range of products available in different cost brackets for different types of hearing loss. With advancements in technology and ongoing research, every six months, new products are launched with enhanced features to improve the hearing experience of a user.
So why majority of users are NOT using their hearing aids every day? Why most of the hearing aids end up in drawers?
A recent study on existing users of hearing aids reveals that more than 60% of these users are not using their hearing aids. It was found that the single most common reason for not using their hearing aid was too much of background noise. Wearing their hearing aid was the most unpleasant task of their routine and still family members forced them to wear the hearing aid on regular basis without realizing that an unsuitable hearing aid can further deteriorates the listening ability of a patient. Almost 50% of these users have given up wearing their hearing aid altogether and the remaining are looking for an alternative solution.
The trend in dispensing hearing aids is far from what it should ideally be. According to the rehabilitative model of audiology, a team approach should be focused on the patient and his/her lifestyle. Ideally, an ENT specialist and an audiologist should make a team to provide a collaborative hearing solution for the patient. On the contrary, a majority of hearing aids are dispensed by business owners or dealers who are not qualified to dispense a hearing aid and are not aware of the physiology of human ear. An unqualified business owner’s approach while dispensing a hearing aid is only to increase their sale and most of the times they end up recommending a hearing aid which does not provide a perfect hearing solution to the patient. The key factor of understanding a patient’s lifestyle and then identifying an appropriate hearing aid solution is altogether compromised.
When a dissatisfied patient complains about the hearing aid, their hearing aid is re-programmed by a hit-and-trial method which further frustrates the patient and they give up using their aid altogether. With a plethora of hearing aid choices available, the patients may choose one based on factors such as budget or size of the hearing aid without being aware of the technical requirements for his or her kind of hearing problem. The range of products available and lack of qualified people in the industry to guide the patient appropriately contribute to the high dissatisfaction rate of hearing aid users. As the number of these dissatisfied patients is increasing, it is creating a wrong notion for the first time hearing aid users who get put off by the rippling feedback of these users.
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