There are estimated to be about nine million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. This number is steadily rising, due to the nosier world that we live in, and as the number of people aged over 60 increases.
There are about two million people in the UK who have hearing aids, but another four million who have significant hearing loss, and who experience difficulty and would benefit from hearing aids. There are various stages of hearing loss, from mild, moderate, severe hearing loss and profound hearing loss.
About three and a half million people of working age (16 to 65 years) are deaf or hard of hearing.
Of people aged 61 to 80 years old, an estimated 28.1% of the population are experiencing mild hearing loss.
Of people aged 81 years and over, the estimate is that 57.9% have moderate hearing loss, but 93.2% will have some degree of hearing loss.
From the age of 40 years on, more men than women become hard of hearing. This may be because men have a greater exposure to high levels of industrial noise.
Interestingly, 5% of adults suffer a degree of tinnitus (noises in the ear or head) which makes it difficult for them to sleep and concentrate. 7% of adults have been to see a GP about tinnitus.
It’s a sad fact, that as we get older our hearing deteriorates, but its good to know that this is a natural part of the ageing process and that many people have sought professional advice to solve the problems associated with hearing loss.
Free hearing tests are easily obtained in the UK and can uncover problems that are far simpler than permanent hearing loss.
(Sources: RNID website and Labour Force Survey 2001)