Adoption, use and non-use of hearing aids: a robust estimate based on Welsh national survey statistics

Harvey Dillon*, John Day, Sarah Bant, Kevin J. Munro

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)
    78 Downloads (Pure)


    Objective: To report a robust measure of the proportion of adults who do not use their hearing aids.

    Design: Data on hearing aid use was extracted from national household survey data, from 2004 to 2018 in Wales, UK.

    Study sample: A representative sample of 10,000 to 16,000 adults per year.

    Results: Self-reported hearing difficulty increased smoothly from 14 to 16% during the 12 years when survey administration remained unchanged. The proportion reporting that they had tried a hearing aid increased from 5 to 7% and stabilised at this level since 2011. The proportion who reported using their hearing aid most of the time increased from 47 to 52% during the 15-year period. The proportion who did not use their hearing aids at all decreased from 21 to 18% over the same period.

    Conclusions: In this extensively-surveyed population, approximately 20% of adults currently do not use their hearing aids at all, 30% use them some of the time and the remaining 50% most of the time. Hearing aids are valued by many, as judged by use, but there is substantial room for improvement. Inclusion of questions on use within a large-scale, regular national survey enables the collection of demonstrably reliable data.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)567-573
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • hearing aids
    • use
    • non-use
    • difficulty
    • survey


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