Learn About Hearing

The incidence of hearing loss

In February 2006, The Cooperative Research Centre for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation and the Victorian Deaf Society commissioned Access Economics to undertake the “Listen Hear” study into the “Economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia”. The following brief excerpt from the Listen Hear! Executive summary highlights the extent and impact of hearing loss on the community.

One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss. Prevalence rates for hearing loss are associated with increasing age, rising from less than 1% for people aged younger than 15 years to three in every four people aged over 70 years. With an ageing population, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by 2050.

The net consequence of hearing loss is a reduced capacity to communicate. The ability to listen and respond to speaking is reduced and for some, the ability to speak is lost or impaired.

Reduced communication abilities impact on a person’s life chances through the reduced opportunity to equitably participate in education, to gain competitive skills and employment and to participate in relationships. Adverse health effects are associated with hearing loss.

  • One in six Australians suffer hearing loss.
  • By 2050 one quarter of Australia’s population will have hearing loss.