Prevalence of Hearing Loss

Prevalence of Hearing Loss

In the UK 10.5 million people have a hearing loss. The table and graph below show that hearing loss increases exponentially with age.

In the UK 96% of people with a hearing loss are aged 40 and over, this is because age-related hearing loss is the single biggest cause of hearing loss+ Age is the biggest single cause of hearing loss. Hearing loss that develops as a result of getting older is often known as age-related hearing loss or presbycusis. Most people begin to lose a small amount of their hearing from around 40 years of age. This hearing loss increases as you get older. By the age of 80, most people have significant hearing problems. As your hearing starts to deteriorate, high-frequency sounds, such as female or children’s voices, may become difficult to hear. It may also be harder to hear consonants such as “s”, “f” and “th”. This can make understanding speech in background noise very difficult.” Source: NHS CHOICES. The vast majority of people with hearing loss have age-related hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss is the second leading cause of hearing loss in adults. It is estimated that it accounts for an estimated 4% of hearing loss in people aged 15 to 791.

For local prevalence data see the hearing map

Age BandPrevalence of hearing loss

Graph: Prevalence (%) of hearing loss in each age group[5]