Loud and clear: deaf awareness in the consulting room

1 February 2024
Winter 2024

Deaf children and adults can struggle to access eye care and vision correction. Sophie Goodchild explores how deaf awareness training for optometrists – and other practice staff – could make optometry services more equitable.

An estimated 12 million people in the UK are affected by hearing loss, including around 45,000 children (Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), 2023). That is more than one in six of the population and the number is expected to increase to more than 14.5 million by 2031 (Karas and Laud, 2014).

About 365,000 people have some level of combined hearing and sight loss – often described as deafblind or having dual sensory loss – and the majority of these are aged 70 years or older.

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