Hearing loss affects relationships in millions of families worldwide

03 March, 2019

  • Almost half of people surveyed in countries across the world have a close family member with moderate-to-profound hearing loss1

  • Hearing loss is believed to be an inevitable part of ageing, leading to delays in action and people living a poorer quality of life1

  • New data reveals the extent that hearing loss is affecting families around the globe1

Sydney, Australia – 3 March 2019: Almost half of us have a close family member with moderate-to-profound hearing loss,1 with eight in 10 believing it affects relationships with their loved ones.1

This is one of the headline findings in a new report released on World Hearing Day (Sunday 3 March) that surveyed the attitudes of people in five countries around the world about hearing loss.1

The State of Hearing Report,1 conducted for Cochlear, reveals many people know that adults with hearing loss are facing social isolation, declining self-esteem and losing the ability to communicate as their families feel the strain.2

However, a solution could start by people simply changing how they think about hearing loss and recognising it can often be preventable and treatable.

Despite 92 per cent of respondents recognising the ability to hear as important for overall quality of life, only 37 per cent have had a hearing test in the last two years, the report reveals.

This result highlights that people could do more to take control of their hearing. Getting a hearing test and seeking information about potential treatment options could be the first step towards better hearing, which can help keep the mind sharp and strengthen social connections.3,4,5,6,7

"The ability to hear is crucial for people of all ages," said Dig Howitt, Chief Executive Officer and President of Cochlear.

"Hearing loss affects people of all ages and is more prevalent in older people. One in three people over 65 have a disabling hearing loss but many people do not put a high priority on treating hearing loss, delaying treatment and consequently experience a lower quality of life."

Seven in 10 respondents said they believe hearing loss is unavoidable as people get older. This rises to eight in 10 for people aged 65 years and older, who have some form of hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects 466 million people around the world and one in three people over the age of 65 live with severe to profound forms of the condition.2 World Health Organization figures predict the total number of people living with hearing loss will nearly double by 2050 and this increase will be most noticeable amongst older people.2

The State of Hearing Report surveyed 7,275 people in five countries – Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and United States of America.

Across all countries, a lack of action was consistent: seven in 10 people surveyed, who said they have some level of hearing loss, had not had their hearing checked.

The report highlighted that nations are looking to governments, government health bodies and insurance providers as responsible for national action on hearing loss.

This World Hearing Day, Cochlear and the World Health Organization are urging people around the world to check their hearing as a vital health priority and as a regular part of ongoing healthcare.

"As the world's population continues to live longer, preventing hearing loss, while maintaining and restoring hearing, will become imperative for health and wellbeing," said Mr Howitt.

"Getting a hearing test can be the first step in making sure people maintain their quality of life and continue to participate fully in society."

Key Facts

  • Hearing loss creates an annual global economic burden of >USD $750B2

  • Almost half (46 per cent) of those surveyed have a family member with some level of hearing loss1

  • One in four people (27 per cent) surveyed said they do not know where to get their hearing checked1

  • More than half (59 per cent) of those surveyed agree that hearing loss has an impact on job prospects, performance and earning potential1

About State of Hearing Report

The State of Hearing Report 2019 surveyed people in five countries in December 2018. This included Australia, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and United States of America to get a global perspective of how hearing affects individuals and communities. Some important trends emerged after speaking with more than 7,200 people, including more than 1,000 aged 60 years and older with hearing loss.

About Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)

Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. The company has a global workforce of more than 3,500 people and invests more than AUD$160 million each year in research and development. Products include cochlear implants, bone conduction implants and acoustic implants, which healthcare professionals use to treat a range of moderate to profound types of hearing loss. Since 1981, Cochlear has provided more than 550,000 implantable devices, helping people of all ages, in more than 100 countries.

Please call 1-800-875-212, or email hearinghelp@cochlear.com.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Luke Alexander
Cochlear Limited
(+61) 491 052 646
lalexander@cochlear.com

Chris Adams
Edelman
(+61) 412 584 414
chris.adams@edelman.com

Disclaimer

Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.

References

  1. The State of Hearing Report, conducted by Edelman for Cochlear in December 2018
  2. World Health Organization. Deafness & Hearing Loss Factsheet. Available at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss [Last accessed Feb 2019]
  3. Fitzpatrick EM, Leblanc S. Exploring the factors influencing discontinued hearing aid use in patients with unilateral cochlear implants. Trends in Amplification. 2010, 14; (4): 199–210.
  4. Crowson MG, Semenov YR, Tucci DL, Niparko JK. Quality of life and cost-effectiveness of cochlear implants: A narrative review. Audiol Neurotol. 2017, 22: 236 – 258.
  5. Völter C, Götze L, Dazert S, Falkenstein M, Thomas JP. Can cochlear implantation improve neurocognition in the aging population? Clin Interv Aging. 2018, 13: 701–712.
  6. Mosnier I, Bebear JP, Marx M, Fraysse B, Truy E, Lina-Granade G, Mondain M, Sterkers-Artières F, Bordure P, Robier A, Godey B, Meyer B, Frachet B, Poncet-Wallet C, Bouccara D, Sterkers O. Improvement of cognitive function after cochlear implantation in elderly patients. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015, 141; (5):442-50.
  7. Mosnier I, Vanier A, Bonnard D, Lina-Granade G, Truy E, Bordure P, Godey B, Marx M, Lescanne E, Venail F, Poncet C, Sterkers O, Belmin J. Long-term cognitive prognosis of profoundly deaf older adults after hearing rehabilitation using cochlear implants. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2018, 66; (8): 1553-1561.