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Hearing aid use percentages

David G. Delage dgdelage at ix.netcom.com
Mon May 6 17:23:43 EST 1996

I just got hold of a fax of an article written by Sergei Kochkin that
was reprinted from <I>The Hearing Journal</I>, July 1992, Vol. 45, No.

I am using the first figure in this article, which contains two
graphs, to come up with all of the numbers you will see.

The graphs break out the hearing-impaired population by degree of
hearing loss and whether they own hearing instruments.  The number of
non-owners is 20 million and the number of owners is 5.8 million, thus
the total number of hearing-impaired people is 25.8 million, or
roughly 10% of the U.S. population.  If you then divide the number of
hearing instrument owners by the total, you will see that roughly 22%
of the hearing-impaired people own hearing aids.

This gets even more interesting when you calculate the percentages by
the degree of hearing loss.  According to the graph, out of the
Non-owners, 42.2% have a Mild loss, 45.9% have a Moderate loss, 8.9%
have a Severe loss, and 3.1% have a Profound loss.  The corresponding
percentages for the owners are 8.8% for Mild, 51.1% for Moderate,
35.4% for Severe and 4.7% for Profound.

By totaling the number of hearing-impaired people (both owners and
non-owners) for each category and then dividing the number of owners
in each category by the corresponding total, you get the market
penetration for each category of hearing loss.

For example, to figure out the market penetration for the Profound
Number of Profound non-owners:  20 million * 3.1% = 0.62 million
Number of Profound owners:  5.8 million * 4.7% = 0.27 million
Total number of people with a Profound loss:  0.89 million
Percentage of market penetration for Profound:  0.27 million / 0.89
million = 30%

Skipping all the math, here are the results from the other categories:
Severe:  3.83 million people; 54% market penetration
Moderate:  12.14 million people; 24% market penetration
Mild:  9.95 million people; 6% market penetration

Interesting numbers, aren't they?  There's a lot of people in Mild and
Moderate who don't have hearing aids.


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