In this New York Times article "Picking Up Good Vibrations (With Limitations)" psychologist Teresa Cochran discusses her decision to get a cochlear implant and how it has helped her serve her patients. It's a good read, but there were also some interesting statistics:
People who use hearing aids, on average, live with hearing loss for seven years before resigning themselves, usually around age 70, to using a device, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. “You are in a position where you’ve been struggling, and you get tired of asking people to repeat themselves,” Mr. McKenna said.
Today, baby boomers account for 10 million of the 31.5 million Americans with hearing loss, according to the Better Hearing Institute, a nonprofit educational organization, and many hearing experts attribute this to listening to overly loud rock music.
I hope that as cochlear implants become more common and therefore more visible, the public in general will become more comfortable with using assistive devices to help them hear. It's a shame that people would rather pretend that they can hear a conversation rather than wear a small hearing aid out of embarrassment.