The World Health Organisation (WHO) says nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide or one in four people would be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050.
WHO gave the warning in a statement issued on Tuesday to commemorate the World Hearing Day.
World Hearing Day is held on March 3 each year globally to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across.
The UN health agency, in its first report on hearing, stated that at least 700 million of these people would require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services unless action is taken.
The statement quoted Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, as saying, “our ability to hear is precious. Untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, to study and to earn a living. It can also impact on people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships.
“This new report outlines the scale of the problem, but also offers solutions in the form of evidence-based interventions that we encourage all countries to integrate into their health systems as part of their journey towards universal health coverage.”
The report, launched ahead of World Hearing Day on March 3, underlines the need to rapidly step-up efforts to prevent and address hearing loss by investing and expanding access to ear and hearing care services.
According to the statement, investment in ear and hearing care has been shown to be cost-effective.
WHO calculates that governments can expect a return of nearly 16 dollars for every one dollar invested.
The statement, however, said the report found out that lack of accurate information and stigmatisation to ear diseases and hearing loss often limit people from accessing care for these conditions.