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Warning signs of hearing impairment

Globally, the estimated numbers of people with disabling hearing impairment in 2011 was 360 million, including 32 million children younger than 15 years old. In Hong Kong, an estimated 155 200 people (or 2.2% of total population) had hearing difficulty in 2013.


  • Delayed response to soft sounds
  • Show poor understanding of what other people are saying
  • Tend to lean forward or pay extra attention to the speaker’s face while listening
  • Often complain that other people are not speaking clearly
  • Turn head to one side constantly while listening
  • Show difficulty locating the sound source
  • Often requests for repetition by saying
  • ‘Pardon?’ or ‘Say that again’ during a conversation
  • Have unclear speech
  • Often give irrelevant answers or misinterprets instructions
  • Have earache or ear discharge
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Understand speech much poorer than others in a noisy environment
  • Confuse words with similar sounds e.g. ‘sin’ and ‘tin’

Screening for hearing can prevent further damage through early detection

Screening could identify people with hearing impairment before symptoms occur and prevent further damage with early interventions.

In Hong Kong, the Hospital Authority neonatal units have been providing universal newborn hearing screening to newborns prior to hospital discharge. The Maternal and Child Health Centres of the Family Health Service, Department of Health ( also offers hearing screening to newborn babies who have not received the screening test in their birthing hospitals. Likewise, the Student Health Service ( provides periodic hearing screening as part of the comprehensive health screening for primary and secondary students who attend the Service for annual health assessment. If indicated, those suspected to have hearing impairment will be referred to specialist clinic for further clinical evaluation or intervention.


The information on this website is for general educational purpose only. Readers should consult their physician before considering treatment, and should not interpret their condition solely based on the information above. 以上資訊僅提供教育用途。你應該諮詢醫生有關的治療方法,而不應完全依賴網站上的資訊。