World health organization

10 facts on deafness

A young African girl receives an ear examination with an otoscope. An otoscope is a medical instrument that is used to look in the ears.
CBM/Piet Van Hasselt

There are 360 million persons in the world with disabling hearing loss

This is 5.3% of the world’s population - 32 million of these are children. Disabling hearing loss is defined as:

  • adults (15 years and older): hearing loss greater than 40 dB in the better hearing ear;
  • children (0 – 14 years of age): hearing loss greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear.
© WHO. All rights reserved.