Why Only 25%? I recently completed a review of some of the literature on hearing aids and rehabilitation in preparation for a lecture to celebrate a milestone birthday of Professor Moe Bergman, one of the fathers of audiology. Professor Bergman first entered the field in the 1950s, when vacuum tube hearing aids ... Article
Article  |   January 01, 2007
Why Only 25%?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara E. Weinstein
    Clinical Doctoral Programs The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY, New York, NY
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Articles
Article   |   January 01, 2007
Why Only 25%?
SIG 7 Perspectives on Aural Rehabilitation and Its Instrumentation, January 2007, Vol. 14, 9-10. doi:10.1044/arii14.1.9
SIG 7 Perspectives on Aural Rehabilitation and Its Instrumentation, January 2007, Vol. 14, 9-10. doi:10.1044/arii14.1.9
I recently completed a review of some of the literature on hearing aids and rehabilitation in preparation for a lecture to celebrate a milestone birthday of Professor Moe Bergman, one of the fathers of audiology. Professor Bergman first entered the field in the 1950s, when vacuum tube hearing aids were considered state of the art. In 1956, he had the perspicacity to state that “the most important single development which has overcome the handicap of deafness has been the modern hearing aid” (Bergman, 1956). This statement prompted a review of statistics on hearing aid use over the past several decades to see whether advances in technology have helped increase acceptance of hearing aids by the hearing impaired. It is noteworthy that, in 1955, 5 million Americans needed hearing aids, yet only 1.2 million wore them (Davis, 1955). In other words, only 25% of those persons needing hearing aids actually wore them. This led to a more recent literature review, including the surveys conducted by Kochkin (2005a)  on hearing aid use. Ironically, in this era of digital hearing aids and variable microphone arrays, 24 million Americans need hearing aids, yet only 6.2 million wear them (Kochkin, 2005b), the same 25%! The comparability of the percentages was astounding, given the advances in hearing aid technology that have taken place over the past several decades.
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