Listen Up!

Over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). It is estimated that by 2050 over 700 million people – or one in every ten people – will have disabling hearing loss. Nearly 80% of people with disabling hearing loss live in low and middle-income countries. For children in these low and middle-income countries with hearing loss to learn to listen and talk, they must have access to audiological care and appropriate hearing technology – usually in the form of hearing aids. The most common material used to make affordable hearing aids is acrylic – a polymer derived from fossil fuels.