1 in 6 UK adults suffer hearing loss and, on average, they believe they should have their hearing tested every 2-3 years, yet most of us only have our hearing tested once a decade!
In a recent survey of 2,000 UK adults, commissioned by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) and announced on its website, 16% of respondents self-reported suffering from hearing loss, with men being nearly twice as likely to suffer as women: 1 in 5 men reported suffering from hearing loss compared to 1 in 10 women.
These UK figures are significantly higher than the 1 in 9 Europeans with self-reported hearing loss, according to the latest Eurotrak report.
Eleven percent of 16-24 year olds surveyed say they too suffer hearing loss. This figure doubles to 22% in the over 55 age group. This revelation comes as no surprise as we are familiar with the concept that hearing can deteriorate with age.
Hearing loss compounds feelings of isolation and loneliness which can affect the lives of sufferers. As with loss of vision, identifying and treating hearing loss can improve an individual’s quality of life.
Nearly half of those who say they have a hearing loss claim to wear hearing instruments according to BIHIMA’s UK 2018 Eurotrak study, leaving over 50% not taking advantage of available technology. This problem could be managed with regular visits to an audiologist, according to BIHIMA.
BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge comments on the survey’s findings: “Not everyone notices a decline in their hearing. It’s often a relative or family friend that raises the subject. We know hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and the way they live their lives. As a society, we need to encourage everyone to have regular hearing tests and, when appropriate, be fitted with life changing hearing instruments to prevent unnecessary suffering.”
BIHIMA advises people to get their hearing tested every three years, and annually after the age of 55. Just as we visit the optician and dentist regularly, our hearing should also be valued and protected.
Research and Methodology:
The research was conducted by Censuswide across 2,000 UK adults. It was completed in February 2020, but publication was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. www.censuswide.com