Worldwide Hearing Index 2017

Report suggests link between hearing loss and noise pollution in cities

  • Study from the largest ongoing global digital database regarding hearing loss, with over 200,000 participants.

  •  Residents of Vienna, Austria have the least amount of hearing loss proportionate to their age whilst citizens of Delhi, India have the most.

  • Zurich, Switzerland has the least incidence of noise pollution and Guangzhou, China has the highest.

  • Noise pollution in cities and hearing loss were found to have a 64% positive correlation.

    For World Hearing Day, digital hearing app Mimi has published a report detailing hearing loss around the world. Using data gathered from over 200,000 participants of their hearing test, statistics from the World Health Organisation, and the SINTEF report on noise pollution, the study investigates how noise pollution in cities relates to hearing. The company hopes that the data will not only provide a unique insight into the current state of global hearing loss, but will also act as a call to action for individuals and health care providers to make better investments concerning aural health.

    Dr. Manfred Gross from Charité University Hospital, Berlin, said: “While eye and sight checks are routine for most, ear and hearing exams are not. This is an issue as the earlier hearing loss is detected, the better the chances ar e for preventing further damage.”

    To conduct the report, data was gathered from the Mimi hearing test app, which allows participants to enter their age and gender, and then test their hearing. The Worldwide Hearing Index presents the average difference between a participant's true age and their hearing age in each location*.

    The Average Hearing Loss Index was found to have a 64% positive correlation with Noise Pollution levels in each city, indicating hearing loss may be an outcome of living in these cities. The results of the Hearing Loss Index of each city and the Noise Pollution were mapped to range between 0 and 1. The sum of these two rankings were combined to give an overall Combined Hearing Loss Rank.

world hearing index
Andreas Berglind