07 June 2007

Record numbers of hearing aids

More and more Swedes are fitted with hearing aids.

70,000 Swedes received their hearing aids in 2006. This is 33 percent more than were fitted in 2002. The total number of Swedes with hearing aids is almost 336,000. One in three Swedes with hearing loss has one or two hearing aids. 1.2 million or 14.3 percent of Sweden's population are hearing impaired.

According to the Swedish association for hearing impaired people, HRF, the reasons for the strong increase in the fitting of hearing aids include a change in policy aiming to reduce waiting lists at publicly funded hearing clinics, an increase in the number of people seeking the benefits of new types of digital hearing aids, and a gradual change in attitudes. In Sweden hearing aids are no longer just associated with aging and the elderly.

Two in three Swedes with hearing loss need hearing aids in both ears, according to HRF. Unfortunately, fewer are issued two devices. In 2006, 45 percent of those prescribed hearing aids were issued aids for both ears.

More than 90 percent of Swedes with two hearing aids say that they need both in order to hear properly. About 85 percent say they often or always use both devices, while another 10 percent say they use both their devices frequently.

Source: HRF 2007 Annual Report, www.hrf.se

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