Final Report on Hearing Loss from the Commission on Hearing Loss
The Commission on Hearing Loss was established by the International Longevity Centre – UK. Their Final Report on Hearing Loss1, published in July 2014, sets out the Commission’s findings on the impact of hearing loss on the UK population.
The Commission considered a number of important issues relating to hearing loss including:-
- How and to what extent can hearing loss impact on a person’s quality of life?
- What are the current barriers which prevent early detection and support of hearing loss?
- How can we support people to recognise their hearing loss earlier and come forward for help?
- How can we de-stigmatise hearing loss and the use of hearing aids?
Having researched and studied these issues the Commission arrived at the findings in its Final Report. These make interesting reading. They include:-
- By 2031 it is estimated that there will be 14.1 million people, or 20% of the population in the UK with hearing loss.
- Hearing loss can have “devastating” impacts on the individuals suffering with it and their families. It also costs the economy an estimated £25bn annually, as those with hearing loss are significantly less likely to be in employment than the general population.
- The adverse impacts of hearing loss could be improved considerably if there was better provision, take up and use of hearing aids. About six million people in the UK currently would benefit from using hearing aids but only around two million have them. To make the situation worse, 30% of people who do have hearing aids don’t actually use them.
- People suffering with hearing loss often wait as long as ten years before seeking any form of treatment or support.
The Report found that there were a number of reasons why take-up of hearing aids is so low. Many sufferers are afraid of the stigma attached to being diagnosed with hearing loss, or thought that their problem was just part of the normal ageing process.
When people contacted their GP, their treating medical practitioner did not make a referral for any further investigations in 45% of cases.
Where a GP does refer someone with hearing loss for further investigation, the process on the NHS is complicated and takes some time.
The Report’s recommendations included that the government should publish an Action Plan on hearing loss and that the system for obtaining treatment for hearing loss on the NHS should be made simpler, more flexible and less “medicalised”
Here at What’s My Deafness Claim Worth we are acutely aware of how hearing loss (and also tinnitus) can have a negative impact on people’s lives. Our specialist industrial deafness solicitors help people secure compensation for industrial deafness after they have been diagnosed with hearing loss which has been caused or made worse by exposure to high levels of noise at work.
If you want help with claiming for industrial deafness or tinnitus then contact us. Our noise induced hearing loss solicitors will be able to advise you on pursuing your claim on a “no win – no fee” basis.