Last edited 07/2020 and last reviewed 03/2023

Hearing loss is a major public health issue affecting about 9 million people in England

  • because age-related hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss, it is estimated that by 2035 there will be around 13 million people with hearing loss in England - a fifth of the population
  • the psychological, financial and health burden of hearing loss can be reduced by prompt and accurate referral, robust assessment and correct management

hearing loss (2)

  • may occur at any age
  • impairs verbal communication
  • may be unilateral or bilateral
  • can be classified as :
    • conductive - lesions in the outer or middle ear
    • sensorineural -lesions in the inner ear or auditory nerve
    • mixed - both, conductive and sensorineural hearing loss involved
    • central - caused by lesions along the auditory pathway or in the brain (3)

The prevalence of deafness based on age group has been stated (4):


  • degrees of Hearing Loss (5):
    Normal Hearing -10-26 dB
    Mild Hearing Impairment 27-40 dB
    Moderate Hearing Impairment 41-55 dB
    Moderately Severe Impairment 56-70 dB
    Severe Hearing Impairment 71-90 dB
    Profound Hearing Impairment >= 91 dB