News release

Date: 19th April 2011

Are GPs preventing patients from hearing properly?

The largest UK study into hearing impairment and hearing aids has revealed a wealth of information including that many hearing impaired people are not referred on by their doctor and that 3.4 million people in the UK cannot hear properly.

April 19th 2011 - A groundbreaking new study shows that 39% of people who consult their GP about their hearing loss do not go any further to seek a solution

Nearly 15,000 UK consumers answered questions about their hearing and their knowledge of hearing aids in the most comprehensive and largest survey ever undertaken in this field. The EuroTrak UK study will provide invaluable data for GPs, the NHS, Department of Health and the audiology profession. This study is now being publicised by The British Hearing Aid Manufacturers Association (BHAMA).

“39% is a disappointing figure because it means millions are battling with isolation, withdrawal, problems at work, depression, low self-esteem and a host of other negative consequences reported by recent other studies*,” says Lawrence Werth, Chairman of BHAMA.

Key findings of interest to GPs, health professionals, NHS and audiology profession include:-

3.5m people in UK should be wearing hearing aids and are not.

UK has lower hearing test rate than rest of Europe (31% UK, 47% France, 55% Germany).

58% of hearing aid wearers were guided by their GP

77% of users are satisfied with their hearing aids

74% of hearing aid wearers received a free-of-charge NHS instrument

93% of hearing aid owners use their aids regularly – a substantial improvement on other studies.

Professor Adrian Davis, National Director for Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, and the leading epidemiologist of hearing impairment in the UK commented: “The very large numbers of people (39%) who have identified that they have hearing problems (including those whose family were the first to notice the problem!) and are not being referred for hearing tests or to see an audiologists by their GP, is an issue that deserves further investigation.”

Lawrence Werth added: “BHAMA is sharing the results of this significant study. It is the first major survey of UK consumers’ knowledge and understanding of hearing aids and the issues around them.” Werth concluded: “These results give an invaluable insight into how consumers currently view hearing aids, their fitting and servicing, and the benefits wearers can derive from using them. This information will enable the hearing aid industry to develop and improve - providing more products and services tailored to meet our patients' needs. It will also allow us to raise awareness of hearing aids among those who could potentially benefit from them and their family and friends."

If you would like to receive a copy please email
The data contained within it can be used in any way deemed appropriate but must be attributed as ‘Source: Anovum – EuroTrak UK 2010’.

The EuroTrak UK study was conducted in 2010. The sample size was as follows:-
14,980 people were interviewed in total. 1,335 (8.9%) of these identified themselves as hearing impaired. 513 of these hearing impaired used hearing aids whilst the remaining 822 said that they had some form of hearing loss (mostly self-diagnosed), but did not use a hearing aid.
Respondents were interviewed via email and the study is weighted accordingly.
EuroTrak UK is part of a new series of pan-European EuroTrak studies that so far include similar surveys in Germany and France. They are comparable to the MarkeTrak studies carried out in the USA by Dr. Sergei Kochkin. It was designed and executed by market research company Anovum on behalf of the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA).

*: ” Evaluation of the social and economic costs of hearing impairment” by London South Bank University / Professor Bridget Shield
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For further information and a full copy of the report, please contact:-
Simon Brookes or Susan Rowlands at Borough PR
T: 0207 378 3430 E: simon[at]boroughpr[dot]

Notes to Editors
BHAMA: The British Hearing Aid Manufacturers Association represents the UK-based hearing aid manufacturers that produce over 97% of the hearing aids professionally fitted in the UK (

EHIMA: The European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) represents the six major European hearing instrument manufacturers, producing up to 90% of hearing aids supplied in Europe (

Anovum: is a market research company based in Zurich. (

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