FRIDAY, Aug. 7, 2020 (HealthDay News) — About 20 percent of adults with hearing aids in Wales, the United Kingdom, do not use them, according to a study recently published in the International Journal of Audiology.

Harvey Dillon, Ph.D., from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues extracted national household survey data from 2004 to 2018 in Wales to examine the proportion of adults who do not use their hearing aids. Data were included from a representative sample of 10,000 to 16,000 adults per year.

The researchers found that during the 12 years when survey administration remained unchanged, self-reported hearing difficulty increased smoothly from 14 to 16 percent. The proportion reporting having tried a hearing aid increased from 5 to 7 percent and was stable at this level from 2011. During the 15-year study period, there was an increase in the proportion who reported using their hearing aid most of the time from 47 to 52 percent. During the same period, the proportion who did not use their hearing aids at all decreased from 21 to 18 percent.

“Efforts to identify and address reasons for non-use and under-use are, however, urgently needed,” the authors write. “This may include new methods of helping people adapt to their hearing aids or otherwise support their on-going use, and/or making hearing aids better adapt to the listening situations they are used in.”

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