“Unacceptable”: More than 430 million people globally live with serious, unaddressed, and often preventable hearing loss, according to the WHO’s first-everWorld Report on Hearing, which marks World Hearing Day today.
- 1 in 4 people worldwide are projected to have hearing problems by 2050
- 80% of those with disabling hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries
- 60% of hearing loss among children is preventable—caused by common practices like prolonged exposure to loud music
Many of the causes—infections, diseases, birth defects, noise exposure, and lifestyle choices—could be prevented. The report’s key recommendations include:
- Public health initiatives like reducing noise pollution in public spaces, vaccinating against diseases like meningitis that can cause hearing loss
- Systematic screening at key points in life
- Integrate hearing care into broader plans for universal health coverage