Hearing Ability and Awareness

Over 5% of the world’s population – 360 million people – has disabling hearing loss (328 million adults and 32 million children). Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40 decibels (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children. A lot more people are suffering from mild hearing loss. Hearing loss may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing.

The figures are steadily increasing. 1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings. 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.

Source and more information: www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/

Studies have shown, however, that only one in five people who would profit from a hearing aid actually use one. On average, people with hearing loss wait almost 10 years before they do anything about it.

More knowledge about hearing can sensitize people and encourage them to have their hearing tested and, if need be, seek advice early. Often, early intervention by means of medication or an operation can remedy the loss of hearing. Wait too long and usually a hearing aid is required - the brain can actually "unlearn" the habit of hearing.  We have compiled some information about this for you in this section.