New research has identified visiting grandchildren as the main reason grandparents decide to have their hearing tested for the first time.

Hearing specialist, Amplifon, who commissioned the research, found that the biggest single trigger for retirement age people to do something about hearing loss is the 'feeling of social exclusion' from not hearing their grandchildren clearly.

"High frequency hearing loss, in particular children's voices, is normally the first to be noticed," explains Enrico Vacca, marketing director of Ampifon UK.

"According to The Grandparents' Association, 82 per cent of children are regularly cared for by their grandparents and the breakdown in communication caused by gradual hearing loss is persuading those who may have been in denial about their hearing loss to have a hearing test."

There are 14 million grandparents in the UK and 6.5million people over the age of 60 have some form of hearing loss.

Vacca added, "Not only are grandparents spending more time than ever with their grandchildren due to parents returning to full time work; our research also found older grandchildren are often the ones to encourage their grandparents to go for an initial hearing test, and often make the appointment for them.

"The result is that both parties enjoy a more fulfilling relationship when hearing loss is addressed through simple treatment."

Other triggers to act on hearing loss identified in the research included Christmas parties, eating out in restaurants with friends, work meetings and trips to the pub, theatre and church.


Amplifon commissioned qualitative research with in-depth focus groups to examine the triggers for people to do something about hearing loss. The focus groups were made up of respondents with experience of recent hearing aid purchases, acquirers, users and their carers/supporters/helpers. The sample consisted of a mix of male and female with recent purchasers aged between 55 to 90 and carers/supporters aged between 30 to 75.

Visiting grandchildren was identified as the number one trigger. Other triggers included:

- Christmas parties
- Eating out with friends
- In church
- In the pub
- At the theatre
- Work meetings

RNID Stats:

- There are almost 9 million hearing-impaired in the UK
- Approximately 2.5 million are below the age of 60
- Over 8 million are classified as having mild or moderate loss
- 2 million have a hearing aid
- 1.4 million use it regularly

About Amplifon

- Interviews are available with Enrico Vacca, marketing director of Amplifon UK and Mark Holmes, brand marketing manager of Amplifon UK.

- High-res images are available of Amplifon's UK directors, internal and external branch shots, client interaction shots and digital hearing-aids.

- See and

Further background

- The company employs 550 people - comprising 150 Registered Hearing Aid Dispensers and 400 support staff.

- In the UK there are 2.2m people using hearing aids.

- The NHS supplies 800,000 units and the private sector 200,000 units per year.

- Amplifon is the number one dedicated private provider of hearing aids in the UK - with 23% of the market share.

- The private hearing aid market in the UK is worth £240m

- The company supplies the most innovative digital hearing aids from the world's leading brands.