Hearing loss can negatively impact mental health, but according to a new survey[1] from TruHearing, the market leader in hearing healthcare benefits, the use of hearing aids can help reduce experiences and behaviors linked to poor mental health.

In its third-annual Hearing Loss in the Workplace Study, TruHearing asked employees with hearing loss about their experiences before and after wearing hearing aids. Across all areas explored, employees wearing hearing aids showed improvement in both their personal and professional lives. On the job, employees experienced a 62% decline in “participating less in meetings” and a 60% decline in “frustration from a colleague for misunderstanding what was said or not responding” after wearing hearing aids (See Table 1). Improvements were also notable outside of work where reports of “feeling less engaged in life” decreased by 75%, and “feelings of isolation” decreased by 52% (See Table 2).

These improvements have been experienced firsthand by Brynn Whaley, a young professional who worked for years unable to treat her hearing loss. “I’ve dealt with a lot of people being very abrasive and annoyed that I can’t hear them,” said Whaley. “I’ve been yelled at more times than I can count. I’ve been in therapy for years because of it. Since I’ve had hearing aids, it has been a lot easier.”

The TruHearing survey also explored how untreated hearing loss can jeopardize productivity. Employees who suspect hearing loss, but have not pursued treatment, reported significantly more burnout in the workplace (59%) than those who wear hearing aids (11%).

“Cost is the number one reason people give for not treating hearing loss, and too many employees are suffering personally and professionally because they can’t afford hearing healthcare,” said Trent Sterling, CEO, TruHearing. “Employers can remove this barrier by including hearing health coverage in their benefits package.”

Pursuing treatment for hearing loss is one of the most impactful ways to combat mental health issues associated with hearing loss, but employers have not made it easy for employees to do so. Only 21% of employees report they are offered hearing health benefits by their employer, a remarkably low percent considering more than half of U.S. employees (59%) agree hearing loss plays a role in overall mental health, with even stronger feelings among those who wear hearing aids (74%).

“So much of our life is spent at work or interacting with coworkers, and if mental health is being jeopardized in the workplace because of lack of healthcare offerings, it’s not just hurting the employees but employers, too,” added Sterling. “Offering hearing health benefits is an easy and cost-efficient way for employers to demonstrate their commitment to employee mental health and wellbeing.”

TruHearing’s 2023 survey included 536 U.S. full- and part-time employees ages 25-64, and 161 people within TruHearing’s consumer database. Answers were segmented by those who do not have hearing loss; those who suspect hearing loss but have not sought treatment; those with confirmed hearing loss but do not wear hearing aids; and those who currently wear hearing aids.

About TruHearing

TruHearing is the #1 market share leader in hearing healthcare benefits serving more than 160 million people and over 300 partners nationwide. With more than 19 years of experience, TruHearing has the expertise to create industry-leading hearing healthcare solutions customized to match the unique needs of any organization or market segment. Guided by a goal to reconnect people to the richness of life, TruHearing has developed the largest, high-quality provider network offering the most technologically advanced hearing aid selection. TruHearing delivers superlative value to ensure payers and their members receive a flawless experience every step of the way. Headquartered in Draper, Utah, TruHearing has been recognized as a “Top Workplace” in the state for six consecutive years.

To learn more about TruHearing visit https://www.truhearing.com/iupa/