Hearing loss is a relatively widespread condition affecting approximately 1 in 6 Australians. With the advent of loud recreational noise sources, such as MP3 players, and the ageing population, it is expected that 1 in 4 Australians will be affected by 2050.
Hearing loss can occur at any age, however it is much more common in those over 50 years of age. In Australia, approximately 1 in 1000 children are born with a significant and permanent hearing loss. Approximately 50% of 50-60 years olds, 70% of 70 years olds and 80% of 80 year olds have a significant hearing loss.
The biggest single cause of hearing loss in adults is excessive noise exposure, it accounts for over 1/3 of all hearing loss. Middle ear effusion (aka glue-ear or middle-ear fluid) is the biggest cause of hearing difficulty in children, with approximately 50% of all children experiencing at least one episode by the time they are 3 years of age.