15 February 2010

One in nine in working population suffering from hearing loss

A majority in Sweden favours compulsory hearing tests in the workplace.

10.9 percent of working Swedes, aged between 20 and 64 years, say they suffer from hearing loss. According to the 2009 Annual Report from Sweden's national association for hearing impaired people, HRF. This represents a significant increase in reported hearing loss from 7.2 percent of the working population in 1988.

Among 35-44 year-olds, one in 10 reports having a hearing loss, while the same is true for one in five in the 55-64 year age group.

According to HRF, hearing loss is a rapidly growing problem in the working aged population.

Support for hearing testing

Six in 10 Swedes support compulsory hearing testing at work. Currently, about 25 percent of the work force are tested, with men being three times more likely than women to receive regular testing.

Among working women, 11 percent have their hearing tested at work. Thirty-four percent of male workers receive such testing. According to HRF, one reason for the sharp difference is that men are more likely than women to work in industrial settings with more hearing regulations.

Of those reporting hearing problems, two in three said that they have not discussed their hearing loss with their employer.

Source: HRF Annual Report, 2009

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