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BIOBOARD - Rest of the World
A quarter of adults have never had their hearing checked
Study shows Britain fare the worst globally in getting their hearing checked

In an international study of 11,000 adults across the globe, the UK is ranked first as almost half (46%) have never had their ears checked, compared to just 11 per cent in Russia and 19 per cent in the US.

The research, commissioned by MED-EL to mark World Hearing Day on 3 March, found that overall one quarter of adults had never had their hearing checked, although there were strong variations between countries.

When asked what were the most important things to get checked regularly by a medical professional there were consistently few mentions of hearing from all territories.

Globally the UK placed the least amount of importance on their hearing health. China was quite the opposite and an exception with a quarter (24%) saying it was the most important thing for them.

This lack of regard for hearing health was despite concerns over the effects of hearing loss across all 12 countries surveyed. Overall, social isolation (31%) was the most common, followed by frustration at communication difficulties (26%), personal safety (18%) and feelings of inadequacy in everyday interactions (13%).

When asked what people would miss the most if they were to lose their hearing, it was revealed in every country surveyed, to be "the voices of family members" by around two thirds of respondents in each case (65% overall). This was followed by the radio and music which was generally considered the second most important, mentioned by 41 per cent of respondents overall.

The survey encourages everyone around the globe to get their hearing checked and to seek advice on the common every day behaviours that long term, can impair our hearing ability.

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