World Hearing Day 2019

Have you ever wondered how hearing loss would impact your day-to-day-life? This World Hearing Day, we put together a global survey of 11,000 respondents living in 12 countries to find out.

International Summary

Respondents were asked which three sounds they would miss the most if they could no longer hear. The top mentioned response was “the voices of family members / partner”.

Overall, one quarter of adults had never had their hearing checked although there was a fair degree of variation between countries. In Russia, only 11% had never had their hearing checked and 12% in China while in Mexico, 42% said they’d never had it checked and the same for 46% in the UK. Similarly, overall 41% of respondents said they’d had their hearing checked in the past year but this varied considerably from just 28% in the UK to 76% in China.

When asked which three key life moments would not be the same if they could not hear, the top mention was ‘hearing “I love you” from a partner / family member’ (55%). This was the most mentioned response in all countries apart from Germany and Egypt. In Germany, it fell just behind ‘Hearing the sea on a summer holiday’ and in Egypt, it fell to second place behind ‘praying, singing on religious festivities / mass’.

When asked which three everyday situations would be most affected by losing their hearing, respondents across all countries were very much in agreement. The top three mentioned responses were ‘conversations with your friends / loved ones’ (79%), communicating with your child(ren) (54%) and Family dynamics during mealtimes (40%).

Asked which of the following would concern you most if you lost your hearing, responses were similar across all 12 countries. Overall, social isolation (31%) was the most mentioned followed by frustration at communication difficulties (26%), personal safety (18%) and feelings of inadequacy in everyday interactions (13%).

Asked which musical instrument they would miss the most if they could no longer hear its sound, the piano was universally nominated in first place by around 1/3 of respondents in each country (34% overall). The acoustic guitar had the second highest number of mentions in most countries (19% overall) and the electric guitar with the third highest number of mentions (13%).

Respondents were asked what the most important thing is that they get checked regularly by a medical professional. They were very much in agreement that eye sight and teeth were the top two mentions with blood pressure in third place. Blood pressure generally became more important the older the respondent. There were relatively few mentions of Ears and Hearing although China was an exception with 24% saying it was the most important thing for them and similarly, 12% of Egyptians.

In the event that they suffered significant hearing loss, while there were some differences between the two responses from one country to another, respondents were generally in agreement that they would seek help either from their GP or from an ENT clinic or hospital.

Results were generally very similar across all twelve countries surveyed, just as within country, there were relatively few differences in opinion by gender or age group.

Facts & Figures

Sounds Missed Most
Top three sounds that would be missed the most.

Key Moments
in life that would not be the same.

Hearing Check

Everyday Situation
Top three everyday situations that would be most affected.

Biggest Concerns
The biggest concerns if you lost your hearing.

Listening Music

Musical Instruments
that would be missed the most

Regular Checks
Things regularly checked by medical professionals.

Seek Help
Where you would seek help if you experienced significant hearing loss.


An online survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 11,016 adults aged 18+ living in 12 countries across the globe; Argentina, Austria, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, the UAE, the UK and the USA. The sample was divided into approximately 1,000 adults per country with the exception of Egypt and the UAE where 500 adults were interviewed in each. The research fieldwork took place between the 7th and 11th January 2019 with respondents selected to match nationally representative quotas. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.

Full Survey

Download the survey with detailed information on the different countries.

Download Survey [PDF, 2.6 MB]

Hearing Test

When you or someone in your life is affected by hearing loss, check your hearing, encourage your loved ones to check their own hearing and offer support.

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