Published: October 2023
Hearing impairment – encompassing people who are Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing – can be present at birth or acquired at any age. It is more prevalent with increasing age and is often secondary to other disabilities. Hearing loss can have an adverse impact on a person’s health and quality of life, for example, people with hearing loss may find it difficult to communicate with other people and have an increased risk of social isolation and other problems such as anxiety, depression and dementia. People with hearing loss may also face barriers to employment due to poor deaf awareness or the lack of communication support. Some people with hearing loss may use British Sign Language (BSL) as their first or preferred language and may self-identify as ‘Deaf’ rather than ‘deaf’ – part of the Deaf community, with a shared history, culture and language*.
*Projecting Older People Population Information System: Hearing Loss
- The number of people living with any hearing impairment is predicted to rise over the next 17 years.
- Hearing impairment prevalence is higher in older adults and men.
- People with any hearing impairment reported worse general health and independence than average.
- There is a lack of national data on hearing loss.
How does Wakefield district compare…
in recent years?
There is a lack of robust historical data on how the number of people with hearing impairment has changed in Wakefield. The interactive dashboard below contains projections of the estimated number of people with hearing impairment in Wakefield from 2023 until 2040. Given the association of hearing impairment with age, as the population of Wakefield ages, the number of people predicted to have hearing impairment rises.
The dashboard can be used to explore the trends in estimated numbers of people with hearing impairment across different categorisations and ages. Click on the buttons at the top to navigate between the different measures.
What are the differences within Wakefield district?
The Adult Population Health Survey 2023 collected responses from 3,450 people across Wakefield about their physical and mental health, and the things they do and experience in their daily lives. Data from this survey was used to calculate an estimate of hearing impairment prevalence, providing a guide to the picture of hearing impairment within Wakefield district.
- Hearing impairment is more prevalent in older adults – 53.1% of people age 75+ have some level of hearing impairment.
- Hearing impairment is more prevalent in males than females – 25.2% of males have some level of hearing impairment compared to 15.4% of females.
- Hearing impairment prevalence is higher in South Kirby and South Osset (31.3% and 32.2% respectively) than average (20.1%). Prevalence by neighbourhood is displayed on a heatmap which is colour coded showing the highest prevalence per hearing impairment category selected. Where neighbourhoods are coloured grey, numbers are too small to display prevalence rates.
- People with any hearing impairment were less likely than average to report their general health as Good or Very Good.
- People with any hearing impairment were also less likely than average to have a high mental wellbeing score.
- People with any hearing impairment were less likely than average to be able to be independent with 73.61% always or most of the time able to get out of the house and carry out day to day activities as and when they want compared to an average of 82.29%.
- There were no significant differences in terms of moderate exercise, but people with any hearing impairment were more likely than average to do no vigorous or muscle strengthening exercises.
The interactive dashboard below can be used to explore the inequalities in hearing impairment in terms of population demographics and answers to some of the other questions on the Adult Population Health Survey 2023. Click on the buttons on the bottom to navigate between the different measures. Use the filters section at the top to explore different categories and inequalities. Charts are colour coded showing the comparison against the average figure; where no data appears for certain age ranges and selected hearing impairment category, numbers are too small to display prevalence rates.
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