12 September 2016

More than 15 million Britons will suffer from hearing loss by 2035

In less than twenty years, approximately 15.6 million British people will suffer from hearing loss according to a UK charity. Today hearing loss affects more than 11 million people in the UK.

The national UK charity Action on Hearing Loss (AOHL) estimates that one-in-five British people (15.6 million) will suffer from a hearing loss of at least 25dB in their better ear by 2035. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts hearing loss to be among the top 10 disease burdens in the UK by 2030.

Hearing loss is already a major issue

Today more than 11 million people across the UK suffer from hearing loss, which translates to about one-in-six British people. Around 900,000 people in the UK suffer from severe or profound hearing loss, meaning that they have a hearing loss of at least 70dB in their better ear.   

Specified by country approximately 9.2 million people in England, 945,000 people in Scotland, 575,500 people in Wales and 287,500 people in Northern Ireland have a hearing loss. 75% of the people affected are above the age of 60. 

A previous report from “The Commission on Hearing Loss” which has been set-up by the International Longevity Centre-UK found that 14.1 million people in the UK will be affected by hearing loss in 2031. Whether the figure is 15.6 million in 2035 or 14.1 million in 2031, still means that a very large number of people will suffer from hearing loss. 

The challenge of an ageing population

Age-related hearing loss, known as presbycusis, is the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors and is the single biggest cause of hearing loss. The UK population is getting older and it is projected that those aged 65 and older will account for 23% of the total UK population. 

Many people in need of hearing aids

Around 6.7 million of those who have a hearing loss could benefit from hearing aids according to Action on Hearing Loss. Previous studies have shown that only 45% of people with hearing loss in the UK use hearing aids even though it could be beneficial.

Read the report from Action on Hearing Loss here

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