A Signia survey found that younger generations have a more negative perception of hearing aids than older generations.
A survey of 1,508 Canadians conducted by hearing aid innovator Signia reveals that younger generations have a more negative perception of hearing aids than those who are more mature.
The survey was conducted to gauge stigma and challenge prevalent misunderstandings surrounding hearing loss. The results underscore the urgency to intensify initiatives aimed at debunking outdated myths about hearing aids, such as believing that hearing aids diminish people’s authority, or make people look older or less attractive.
“False and negative stigma associated with hearing aids is one of the main reasons people put off getting help for their hearing loss,” said Michèle Dostaler, audiology team manager with Signia. “The truth is that delaying treatment for a hearing issue can be detrimental not only to a person’s hearing health, but also to their long-term emotional and cognitive wellbeing.”
The Signia survey also revealed significant discrepancies on the levels of confidence among different generations about disclosing a hearing issue, with 42% of Gen Z respondents (aged 18 to 26) willing to talk about their hearing issues only with their family and close friends. In contrast, only 17% of Boomers (aged 59 and older) are open to discussing their hearing only with close friends and family.
“Mature Canadians are more open to talking about their hearing concerns today than they were in past generations,” said Dostaler. “What we want to encourage is the understanding that a hearing issue is a health issue that can affect anyone at any age and should be treated just as seriously.”
Topline findings of the Signia survey on stigma include:
- Men perceive the use of hearing aids much differently than women, with 31% of men considering that wearing a hearing aid makes people look impaired or vulnerable (vs. 19% of women)
- Two out of five (40%) of Gen Z respondents think that wearing a hearing aid reduces people’s chances to get a job (vs. 14% of Boomers)
- Thirty-eight per cent of Gen Z respondents think that wearing a hearing aid makes people look impaired or vulnerable (vs. 15% of Boomers)
- Over a third (34%) of Gen Z respondents think that wearing a hearing aid makes people look older than they are (vs. 18% Boomers)
- One out of four (25%) of Gen Z respondents think that hearing aids diminish people’s authority (vs. 6% Boomers)
Signia is encouraging all Canadians to take a free hearing test online to help determine whether they may be experiencing hearing loss, and to find out about recommended next steps.