With news that only 1 in 3 people would be comfortable wearing a hearing aid, Siemens has launched a new generation of fashionable and discreet hearing aids.
In a poll carried out for Siemens Hearing Instruments, almost a third of British people would not feel comfortable about wearing a hearing aid. This compares to 82 per cent who would be comfortable wearing glasses.
“The majority of Brits seem to be stuck in a time warp when it comes to their perception of hearing,” says audiologist Rob Ryman. “The fact that more than twice the number of people would feel happier wearing glasses than a hearing instrument demonstrates that people probably still think of hearing instruments as clunky, protruding, banana-shaped devices.”
“If this is the case, it’s hardly surprising that our hearing is relegated on our list of priorities,” he added, pointing to statistics which show that 81 per cent of people have never had a hearing test, compared to just 10 per cent that have never visited an optician.
1 in 7 people suffer from hearing loss in the UK but with so few people taking hearing tests, many are unaware of the impairment, especially if it is slight.
Part of the problem in the low uptake in hearing aids is that they are seen as unfashionable but Roy Ryman argues that it wasn’t long ago that glasses were viewed in a similar way. “They haven’t always been the trendy, hi-design fashion accessory they have become today,” he says.
To counter this perception, Siemens Hearing has launched a new range of hearing aids that are both fashionable and discreet. The colour of the hearing aid can be changed on a daily basis to match one’s clothes and can even be linked to an MP3 player.
Susannah Wyeth/Ruth Jones
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About Siemens Hearing:
Siemens Hearing Instruments Ltd provides a comprehensive range of digital hearing aids and software, patient management systems and audiology equipment to the National Health Service, independent retail dispensers and national chains in the UK.
It is the UK operation of Siemens Audiologische Technik (S.A.T.), based in Erlangen, Germany. Part of the Siemens Medical Group, S.A.T. has been at the forefront of audiological innovation for over 125 years and is the world’s market leader in the design and manufacture audiological products. For more information, visit www.siemens.co.uk/hearing.