In a nutshell: the global impact of hearing loss

Disabling hearing impairment affects more than 360 million people – over 5% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). In less than 30 years, the estimated number of people affected by hearing disability had skyrocketed from 42 million in 1985 to about 360 million in 2011. WHO also warns that 1.1 billion young people (12-35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational noise.

WHO defines disabling hearing loss as “hearing loss greater than 40 decibel (dB) in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children”.

Identifying the early signs of hearing loss is of crucial importance not only for the ones affected, but also for the global economy, which sees 750 billion international dollars lost to unaddressed hearing loss.

Interested in learning more? Check out the WHO 2017 report on the impact of hearing on the global economy.