About hearing health

Find out more about what hearing loss is and how it can affect your health and wellbeing.

About hearing loss

Hearing loss is a reduced ability to hear. It can range from mild to complete hearing loss.

Hearing loss is a common condition impacting one in six Australians. Many factors can cause acquired hearing loss, including:

  • age
  • exposure to loud noise
  • untreated ear disease.

Hearing loss impacts about:

  • 50% of those aged 60 to 70
  • 70% of those aged 70 and over
  • 80% of those aged 80 and over.

About 1 in 1000 babies are born with hearing loss.

Signs of hearing loss

Hearing loss can happen gradually, so it can be hard to notice the symptoms at first. Those close to a person experiencing hearing loss often notice the signs first.

Signs of hearing loss might include:

  • difficulty hearing in noisy places
  • difficulty hearing people on the phone or if they’re not facing you
  • regularly asking people to repeat themselves when they speak to you
  • hearing sounds as muffled, as though people are mumbling
  • needing to have the TV volume louder than other people
  • regularly missing your phone or the doorbell ringing
  • avoiding situations because you have trouble hearing.

Learn more about signs and symptoms 

Impacts of hearing loss

Poor hearing health can have a big impact on your overall health, wellbeing and day-to-day life.

In adults, untreated hearing loss may increase the risk of memory loss and depression. It can also affect your social and emotional wellbeing. Being excluded from communication can cause feelings of loneliness, isolation and frustration.

In children it can affect language and speech development, education and social interactions.

Read more about the impacts of hearing loss

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