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The US and UK respondents were quickest to seek medical help with 17% of US respondents and 16% of UK respondents pursuing advice as quickly as within a month of noticing a problem with their hearing. However, it took 22% of Irish, 18% of Australian, and 18% of New Zealand respondents over 5 years to seek help. Overall, less than half of respondents across the globe sought advice for their hearing issues within 6 months, and more than a third waited over a year.
After being diagnosed with hearing loss, 91% of respondents had treatment globally, which included hearing aids, cochlear implants, surgery, and wax removal. According to the survey, respondents from Ireland were most reluctant to accept treatment—35% compared to the global average of 9%.
The most common treatment for hearing loss across the globe was wearing a hearing aid, topping the poll in all but one market region. In fact, more than 8/10 of respondents in half of the countries polled reported that they wear aids, and significantly, 84% reported that their life has consequently improved by treatment.
The survey revealed that the most common prompts for recognising hearing problems are difficulty with conversations (62%), having to turn up the radio/TV (60%), and having friends and family point out that they are missing out on sounds (51%).
“In general, it seems that noticing hearing issues does not always spur us to seek medical advice, even though a vast majority have at some point felt anxious, unsafe, or alone. In fact, we are actually willing to wait a considerable amount of time and live with our symptoms,” said Ann-Kristin Foss, brand and communications manager, International Campaign for Better Hearing. “Considering how much of a difference hearing loss treatment can make to our lives we want to encourage more people to get their hearing checked as soon as they notice any difference to their hearing ability.”