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Survey highlights importance of regular hearing tests

A survey by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association found that one in six UK adults suffers hearing loss, but the average adult hasn’t had their hearing tested in 10 years

hearing aid
Getty/AlexRaths
A survey commissioned by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) has recorded 16% of respondents self-reported suffering from hearing loss, with the association encouraging the public to prioritise regular hearing tests.

The survey of 2000 UK adults found men were nearly twice as likely to experience this as women, with one in five men reporting suffering from hearing loss, compared to one in 10 women.

BIHIMA pointed out that this is “significantly higher” than the one in nine Europeans who self-report hearing loss, according to figures from a Eurotrak report

Of those surveyed, 11% of 16-24 year olds said they suffered hearing loss. The number doubled to 22% for those in the over-55 age group, which the BIHIMA suggests is “no surprise” with the view that hearing can deteriorate with age.

Hearing loss can compound feelings of isolation and loneliness, the association highlighted. Commenting on the findings, Paul Surridge, BIHIMA chairman, said: “We know hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and the way they live their lives.”

BIHIMA suggests that, while one in six UK adults suffer from hearing loss, the average adult in Britain hasn’t had their hearing tested in 10 years.

The association advises that people have their hearing tested every three years, and annually after the age of 55.

In a 2018 BIHIMA study, nearly half of those surveyed who reported having hearing loss, said they wore hearing instruments. The group suggests this means over 50% are not taking advantage of available technology.

“As a society, we need to encourage everyone to have regular hearing tests and when appropriate be fitted with life changing hearing instruments to prevent unnecessary suffering,” Mr Surridge added.