16% of adult Europeans suffer from hearing loss great enough to adversely affect their daily life. This is significantly higher than the previously generally assumed prevalence of 10%.
In Europe, about 71 million adults aged between 18 and 80 years have a hearing loss greater than 25 dB, the definition of hearing impairment recognised by the World Health Organisation, WHO. The data was reported in "Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment", based on a survey carried out by scientists at London's South Bank University.
Sergei Kochkin, an American hearing expert, has carried out various studies, the MarkeTrak Surveys, of hearing impaired Americans and their use of hearing aids.
In his 2008 survey, MarkeTrak VIII, he found that:
- More than 35 million Americans, 11.3% of the population, were hearing impaired.
- More than 25 million of them did not use hearing aids.
- Only about 28.5% of hearing impaired Americans actually use hearing aids.
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People, RNID, in the UK, has found that there are 8.7 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. It is only one in four hearing impaired Britons who use a hearing aid.