The average adult in Britain hasn’t had their hearing tested in 10 years.

1 in 6 UK adults suffer hearing loss and on average they believe they should have their hearing tested every 2-3 years, yet most of us only has our hearing tested once a decade!

In a recent survey of 2000 UK adults, commissioned by the British Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA), 16% of respondents self-reported suffering from hearing loss, with men being nearly twice as likely to suffer as women: 1 in 5 men reported suffering from hearing loss compared to 1 in 10 women.

These UK figures are significantly higher than the 1 in 9 Europeans with self-reported hearing loss, according to the latest Eurotrak report.

11% of 16-24 year olds surveyed say they too suffer hearing loss. This figure doubles to 22% in the over 55 age group. This revelation comes as no surprise as we are familiar with the concept that hearing can deteriorate with age.

Hearing loss compounds feelings of isolation and loneliness which can affect the lives of sufferers. As with loss of vision, identifying and treating hearing loss can improve an individuals quality of life.

Nearly half of those who say they have a hearing loss claim to wear hearing instruments according to BIHIMA’s UK 2018 Eurotrak study, leaving over 50% not taking advantage of available technology.  A problem that could be managed with regular visits to an audiologist.

BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge comments on the survey’s findings: “Not everyone notices a decline in their hearing. It’s often a relative or family friend that raises the subject.  We know hearing loss can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health and the way they live their lives. 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.”

BIHIMA advises people to get their hearing tested every 3 years, and annually after the age of 55.  Just as we visit the optician and dentist regularly, our hearing should also be valued and protected.


Research and Methodology:

The research was conducted by Censuswide across 2000 UK adults. It was completed in February 2020, but publication was delayed due to the coronavirus


BIHIMA represents the hearing instrument manufacturers of Britain and Ireland, working in partnership with other professional, trade, regulatory and consumer organisations within the health care and charitable sectors. We raise consumer awareness about the latest hearing technology, and aim to influence government and policy makers to improve the lives of people with hearing difficulties.