8 million Australians with hearing loss in 2050

Growing numbers of Australians will be struggling with hearing loss in the future. The prevalence of hearing loss in Australia is projected to increase from one in six to one in four by 2050.

The increasing numbers of hearing impaired Australians translate into a sharp increase in prevalence from 17 percent of the population in 2005 to almost 27 percent in 2050, according to the projections developed by the Australian Access Economics consultancy. In all, almost 8 million Australians will be suffering from some degree of hearing loss in 2050.

The severity of prevalent hearing loss is not expected to change much over the years. An estimated 66 percent of those suffering from hearing loss will have mild hearing loss, 23 percent will have moderate hearing loss and 11 percent will suffer from severe hearing loss.

More men with hearing loss

Men will continue to be more affected than women. The increase in hearing loss prevalence among Australian men is projected to increase from 21 percent to 31 percent.

Among women the prevalence will increase from 14 percent in 2005 to 22 percent in 2050, according to Access Economics.

Hearing loss in children

Hearing impairment is increasing among children, as well, with projected increases in the 0-14 year age group from 10,000 hearing impaired children to 11,000 by 2050.

Source: ”?Listen Hear! The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia', Access Economics, Australia, February 2006.

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