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April 10, 2007

48 millions in the U.K. have never had hearing test

A good hearing is an important part of a good quality of life. Yet, 48 million Britons have never had a hearing test. Even those, who are aware that they have trouble hearing, often wait for years before they have their hearing examined and receive appropriate help.

A survey among 4,000 Britons indicated that hearing is generally taken for granted among them. 79 percent said that they have never had their hearing tested, whereas just 13 percent reported that they have never had an eye examination. Thus it seems that declining eye sight is tested without hesitation, while a declining hearing is quite a different story.

Even as it is known that about 40 percent of people aged 50 and older will have hearing problems, three in four Britons in this age group have never had a hearing examination.

Two in three know someone with untreated hearing loss

It is not that people in the U.K. have better hearing than the rest of the world. 66 percent of the respondents said that they know someone suffering from untreated hearing loss. It is estimated that one Briton in seven suffers from untreated hearing loss and would benefit from proper treatment with hearing aids.

Hearing aids enhance communication with loved ones

84 percent of those who have hearing aids stated that the greatest benefit is improved communication with their loved ones. The researchers behind the survey point out that close relatives are often in the best position to urge hearing impaired people to have their hearing examined.

About half of the respondents said that they find talking with people with untreated hearing loss frustrating. 41 percent said they fear losing their hearing, and a massive majority, 80 percent, were in favour of instituting a national hearing screening programme.


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