A vast majority in the population wear glasses or contact lenses. For older people, it is extremely rare not to use glasses or contact lenses. Furthermore, nearly one third of over-75 men use hearing aids and more than one third of over-75 women use walking frames, wheeled walkers or mobility scooters.
More and more people wear glasses
A majority of 61 percent in the population reported to wear glasses, contact lenses or other reading or visual aids occasionally in 2012, versus 57 percent in 2001. The percentage has steadily risen in recent years. More women than men wear glasses or contact lenses.
Use reading and visual aids, 2012
As people get older, the use of visual aids grows rapidly. The majority of people in their forties (occasionally) wear glasses or contact lenses. The rate for people in their fifties is more than 90 percent and nearly all over-75s wear glasses.
Contact lens wearers generally young
The percentage of people wearing glasses (57 percent) is much higher than the percentage of contact lens wearers (12 percent). Nine percent of people indicate to use both. Contact lens wearers are generally young.
Among people wearing glasses, 54 percent wear them on a more or less full-time basis. With 79 percent, the rate of full-time contact lens wearers is even higher.
Use of glasses and contact lenses, 2012
Hearing aids and walking frames
Apart from visual aids, some - mostly older - people also use aids for hearing, mobility or involuntary leakage of urine (incontinence). For example, 12 percent of 65 to 75-year-old men and 31 percent of over-75 men used hearing aids in 2012. Older women more often use mobility aids. More than one third of women aged 75 or older use wheeled walkers, walking frames or mobility scooters. The rate is much higher than among their male counterparts.
Involuntary leakage of urine is much more common among women than among men. Women, therefore, use more incontinence aids.