There are two main types of hearing loss.
Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells inside the inner ear, or damage to the hearing nerve, or both. This type of hearing loss is permanent but can often be treated by hearing aids. Age-related damage to the inner ear is the single biggest cause of hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss happens when a blockage, such as ear wax, stops sound passing from the outer ear to the inner ear. This can temporary or permanent.
It’s possible to have both types of hearing loss.
Hearing loss can lead to withdrawal from social situations, emotional distress, and depression.
Research shows that it increases the risk of loneliness, but only for those who don’t wear hearing aids.
1 in 5 adults in the UK – more than 12 million people – live with a hearing loss greater than 25 dBHL
By 2035, the RNID estimates this figure will rise to around 14.2 million.
More than 40% of people over 50 years old have hearing loss, rising to more than 70% of people over the age of 70.
Hearing loss can increase the risk of dementia but evidence also suggests that hearing aids may reduce these risks.
According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 5 people worldwide live with hearing loss.
By 2050, nearly 2.5 billion people are projected to have some degree of hearing loss.
52 million people in Europe identify as having some level of hearing loss.
An estimated 48 million people in the United States and four million in Canada have some degree of hearing loss.
1 in 6 people in Australia – more than 3.5 million – are living with hearing loss
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