Incidence

In 2006, hearing loss affected one in six Australians. An aging of the population coupled with rising noise levels in everyday life, means that the prevalence of hearing loss in Australia is projected to rise to one in four by 2050.

The incidence of hearing loss is age-related:

  • less than 1% of people under 15 years of age have a hearing loss
  • almost two thirds of people over 70 have a hearing loss.

 

Gender

Hearing loss incidence exhibits a gender imbalance, with more males affected by hearing loss than females.

People with hearing loss in Australia, 2005

bar chart of people with hearing loss in Australia 2005

Figure from Listen Hear! The Economic Impact and Cost of Hearing Loss in Australia. Access Economics. February 2006.

 

Severity

Most hearing losses are mild in nature, however one third are moderate to severe.

Hearing loss by severity, 2005

pie chart of hearing loss by severity 2005

Figure from Listen Hear! The Economic Impact and Cost of Hearing Loss in Australia. Access Economics. February 2006.

 

Co-morbidity

Hearing loss is also associated with an increased risk of a variety of different health problems, such as:

  • balance disorders
  • tinnitus
  • diabetes
  • stroke
  • elevated blood pressure
  • heart attack
  • psychiatric disorder
  • affective mood disorder