Reviews Art

Hearwear: The Future of Hearing

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 18 August 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:459
  1. Colin Martin, independent consultant in healthcare communication (
  1. London

    An exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London SW7, until 5 March 2006

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    Hearing loss is linked to age, so the fact that people are living longer, coupled with increasing levels of noise pollution, means that hearing will become an even larger health and social issue in future. According to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, nine million people in the United Kingdom are deaf or hard of hearing and, although two million people have been fitted with hearing aids, three million more could benefit from wearing one. The worldwide estimate for deafness and hearing impairment, currently 300 million, could rise to 910 million by 2050.

    Although technological advances have benefited hearing aid users, their design and primary functions have not developed significantly in 30 years. They are stuck in a stylistic …

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