Press release

International Survey Uncovers “Voices of Family Members” as the Number One Sound Americans Would Miss If They Lost Their Hearing

Sponsored by Businesswire

MED-EL USA announced today the results of an international survey that
revealed the voices of family members or partners (67%) was the sound
Americans would miss the most if they could no longer hear.
Conversations with friends and loved ones (81%) was the highest
mentioned everyday situation that would be affected by hearing loss.

The survey findings illustrate the significance of hearing on families
and life events: 64% of respondents said that hearing “I love you” from
a partner or family member would not be the same if they couldn’t hear;
this was the most mentioned life-event. Additionally, respondents
indicated their baby’s first words (42%) and their baby’s first giggle
(40%) were life events that would not be the same if they lost their

May is an important time for family connections, with an estimated 122
million phone calls made in the US on Mother’s Day. However, for people
living with hearing loss, making that phone call – a daily occurrence
that most people take for granted – can be challenging.

“MED-EL’s mission is to end hearing loss as a barrier to communication
around the world,” said Raymond Gamble, CEO & President of MED-EL North
America. “We recognize the role that hearing technology plays in helping
to maintain vital connections among family members, on Mother’s Day and
every day. If a mother or child finds that making a phone call has
become difficult, we want to encourage them to get in touch with MED-EL
to see if we have resources that can help.”

MED-EL HearPeer Scott Murray reflected on his emotional experience with
his mother during his cochlear implant activation: “There were three
people at my activation besides me, including my audiologist. My mom was
there. We were going around the room and they were talking one at a
time. At first, I was very confused because everything sounded
discombobulated. We got to my mom and she started talking, and she
sounded the most normal. And I said ‘everyone sounds strange and you
sound normal.’ And she started crying right there.”

To celebrate the importance of access to sound and family connections,
MED-EL USA will be giving away #MEDELmom ceramic tumblers daily from May
6-12 to people who have connected with their mothers, children or
grandchildren by sharing an inspirational post from MED-EL USA’s
Facebook page,

May is also recognized as Better Hearing and Speech Month as an annual
observance to raise awareness of issues surrounding hearing loss, as
well as interventions that can help restore access to the world of sound.

About Hearing Loss in America

About 20% of Americans, or 48 million people, report some degree of
hearing loss from mild to profound. According to the Hearing Loss
Association of America, hearing loss has been shown to negatively impact
nearly every dimension of the human experience, including physical
health, emotional and mental health, perceptions of mental acuity,
social skills, family relationships, and self-esteem, as well as work
and school performance. There are numerous causes of hearing loss,
ranging from heredity, birth complications, viral infections, and
exposure to loud noises. Hearing loss is also associated with aging, as
the tiny hairs of the inner ear that process sound die over time and do
not regenerate. The World Health Organization recommends a range of
interventions to improve communication once hearing loss has occurred,
including hearing implants.

Survey Background

An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 1,001 adults
aged 18+ living in the USA from January 7-11, 2019. Atomik Research is
an independent creative market research agency that employs
MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions,
is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to
communication. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was
co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose
groundbreaking research led to the development of the world’s first
micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was
successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as
the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth
of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date,
MED-EL has grown to more than 2,000 employees and 33 subsidiaries
worldwide. The company offers the widest range of implantable and
non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling
people in 123 countries to enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a
MED-EL device. MED-EL’s global portfolio of hearing solutions includes
cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined Electric Acoustic
Stimulation hearing implant system as well as bone conduction devices.