Recent research from the Eurotrak 2018 study reveals the significant cost-saving for European economies as a result of people wearing hearing devices.

The British and Irish Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (BIHIMA) has recently released the UK data from the latest Eurotrak study, which contains some vital conclusions for the hearing industry and for wider society, not least the social cost-saving of effective use of hearing technology.

Currently, unaddressed hearing loss poses a high financial cost for society. The World Health Organisation estimates that, in the UK, adult onset hearing loss will be in the top ten disease burdens, above diabetes and cataracts, by 2030. Moreover, the UK economy loses £25 billion a year in productivity and unemployment, with 30% of people of working age with severe hearing loss unemployed. Those with severe hearing loss who do not use hearing devices have unemployment rates nearly double those who do.  There is also the cost of treating and managing related illnesses: in the UK, older people with hearing loss are 2.5 times more likely to develop depression according to NHS England.

However, the recent Eurotrak data from the UK shows the positive impact that hearing devices can have on the work environment: 87% of employed hearing device owners reported that their instruments are useful for their job. Between 32-35% of people surveyed also believed that there is an increased chance of those who wear hearing devices getting promoted, securing their desired job, and being paid a higher salary, than those with unaddressed hearing loss.

Furthermore, the data showed that hearing aid owners have a lower risk of being depressed: 34% of respondents thought that hearing loss could be linked to depression. Indeed, the research showed that those deemed at highest risk of developing a major depressive disorder is doubled in people who do not wear hearing devices.

“This is important evidence that we urge policy makers to take note of,” said the BIHIMA Chairman, Paul Surridge. “There needs to be greater investment in the hearing health of the public through a preventative approach using effective hearing technology.”

About Eurotrak:

– The Eurotrak survey is an online self-assessment questionnaire about hearing loss and hearing aid usage. It was initiated in 2009 by the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) and is repeated every three years to generate information about trends.

– The full Eurotrak UK data and analysis, published by BIHIMA in 2018 in collaboration with EHIMA, can be viewed here.

Notes for editors:

– 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.