One in Six Adults Suffers from Hearing Loss

Sixteen percent of adult Europeans suffer from hearing loss great enough to adversely affect their daily life. This is much higher than the previously generally assumed prevalence of 10 percent.

In Europe, about 71 million adults aged 18 to 80 years have a hearing loss greater than 25 dB, the definition of hearing impairment recognised by the World Health Organisation, WHO. In the EU alone, the number of people with hearing loss is more than 55 million.

The data on hearing loss in Europe is reported in the scientific Survey, Evaluation of the Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Impairment.

In North America the figure is estimated at around 35 million. In developing countries the burden of hearing impairment is estimated to be twice as large as in developed countries, probably because of a lot of untreated ear infections.

At the same time, in the developed countries, people suffer from hearing loss at younger and younger ages primarily due to the increased exposure to excessive noise.

On these pages, you can find relevant figures and statistical information about hearing impairment in different regions through out the world. A lot of surveys have been carried out in Northern America and Western Europe and we report the figures from the most central. In Africa, Asia and especially Latin America and Eastern Europe only a few surveys have been published.

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