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October 11, 2016

Hearing problems are common in Sweden

Almost half of all Swedish people over 50 years of age have a hearing problem. These hearing problems may have serious negative consequences on both work life and social life.

Hearing problems are common in Sweden

Hearing problems are more common than one might think. According to a Swedish study, 43% of all Swedish people over 50 years of age experiences hearing problems. Those affected by hearing problems experience an extensive negative effect on both work life and social life.

“Even at a partial loss of hearing, the ability to understand and communicate is impaired. Hearing loss manifests itself in different ways. Among others it causes the hearing impaired person to experience difficulties having telephone conversations, watching television without subtitles or to have troubles hearing important signals such as doorbells or traffic sirens,” says Claes Möller, professor and director of Audiologiskt forskningscentrum, Universitetssjukhuset Örebro in Sweden.

Negative social and work life-related consequences

People with hearing loss often experience serious negative social consequences in connection to their hearing impairment. The study finds that 42% of all Swedish people with a hearing loss experience limitations in their everyday life and furthermore that their social life is affected in a negative way as a consequence of their hearing loss.

The study also found that 40% of 50-59 year olds experience that their hearing loss affects their working life in a negative way. “Reduced hearing ability often leads to social isolation, loss of independence and psychological problems. Unemployment among people with hearing loss is moreover much higher than the national average,” Claes Möller explains.

About the study

The study “Hörselnedsättning – en undersökning bland svenska befolkningen” was conducted by TNS Sifo (the leading market research company in Sweden) and the international foundation Cochlear. 2507 people participated in the study and were interviewed about the limitations their hearing loss causes.

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