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16 per cent people in UAE have never had their hearing checked

New research also reveals 13 per cent of under 24-year-olds in UAE suspect they suffer from hearing loss.

An estimated 466 million globally could unwittingly be living with hearing loss, according to new research commissioned by MED-EL Medical Electronics to mark World Hearing Day on March 3.

The worldwide study of over 12,000 respondents revealed that nearly a third (31 per cent) of adults have never had a hearing test. UK adults top the list with 47 per cent admitting they’ve never been checked. This comes in stark contrast to those in China and UAE where only 15 per cent and 16 per cent respectively have never had their hearing tested. Across the board, compared to 2019, the number of people getting their hearing tested has declined.

Social stigma

An online survey among 502 respondents from the UAE revealed that the biggest concern amongst the Emirates if they were to lose their hearing, would be having communication difficulties and the frustrations that would come with it (25 per cent). Nearly 2 in 10 (17 per cent) fear it would lead to social isolation.

The highest proportion of the UAE market (36 per cent) have not had their hearing checked due to the lack of awareness on the issue. For 4 in 10 (40 per cent) of the UAE market, they would only have their hearing checked if they had to – saying they would if there was a mandatory yearly checkup, especially after a certain age. Around half (46 per cent) of the UAE market think society or the community is doing something but not enough to make people with hearing issues feel included and active in everyday life.

The UAE research found that females are more likely to have never had their hearing checked, with 21 per cent of females admitting this vs 13 per cent of males. Females will raise their voice to be heard before men, with around a third (36 per cent) mentioning they have done this to be heard by someone with hearing loss/issues vs 29 per cent of men. However, males are more likely to think they themselves could be suffering from hearing loss issues – around 13 per cent of males believe this vs around 1 in 10 (10 per cent) females.

With relation to age, 13 per cent of the under 24-year-olds in the UAE said they suspect they suffer from hearing loss. Around a quarter of younger people in the Emirates think society is doing enough to make those suffering from hearing loss issues feel included, however from 45 years upwards, around 13 per cent believe this is the case.

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