Adult hearing loss in Australia
Hearing loss is very common in Australian adults.
- 1 in 7
- Australian adults are directly affected by hearing loss.
- 1 in 5
- Australian adults are predicted to be affected by hearing loss by 2060.
- 1 in 3
- Australians over the age of 65 are living with hearing loss.
As hearing loss worsens, and people withdraw from social activities, wellbeing and mental health are at risk. Hearing loss is the number one modifiable risk for dementia in middle age.*
Studies have shown that adults who received cochlear implants understood sentences almost 8 times better (on average) than they could previously with hearing aids.**
Less than 10% of adults who could benefit from a cochlear implant have explored it as an option.
What's the difference between hearing aids and cochlear implants?
Hearing aids amplify sound.
Cochlear implants provide direct access to the cochlea and bypass the damaged parts of the inner ear. The device provides access to high-quality, more detailed sound.
Hearing aids provide precisely amplified sound into the wearer’s ear so that it can be heard when natural hearing is impaired. However, hearing aids may reach their limit when the damage is too great.
Cochlear implants bypass damaged structures in the inner ear and stimulate the hearing nerves directly. Cochlear implants have an external component called a speech processor, which looks like a hearing aid. This is worn behind the ear, or on the side of the head. Unlike hearing aids, the speech processor uses a radio signal to send information through the skin to the ‘implant’ which is surgically placed under the skin. The implanted component stimulates the hearing nerves and allows the brain to perceive sound.
When should I consider a cochlear implant assessment?
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on the way you live your life. A cochlear implant can be a suitable option for adults and seniors of any age, right up to those aged in their 90s.
Improving your hearing can help you:
- Reconnect with your family and loved ones—in person and on the phone
- Feel more confident to participate in everyday activities—at work, at home, and in social environments
- Understand speech and interact with others
- Locate where sound is coming from
- Rediscover hobbies and sounds you love most.
Whether your hearing loss has been gradual, or it has occurred suddenly, a cochlear implant can increase access to sound, even in noisy environments, to help you live life to the fullest.
From watching your favourite television program to joining in conversations at noisy restaurants, or simply experiencing your world through sound—a cochlear implant can enhance your life in many ways, big and small.
Cochlear implants have made a world of difference to me, and I am eternally grateful for the amazing gift I have been given.
Your personal circumstances, including the type and degree of your hearing loss, your general health, and your desired outcomes are all factors that determine your best solution. That’s where we help—and can determine whether a cochlear implant or bone conduction implant is right for you. We provide you with the information, advice, and support you need to make the best decision for you.
Want to know more? Come to a free information session.Find out more
*Livingston, G. et al ‘Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the LancetCommission’, THE LANCET COMMISSIONS | VOLUME 396, ISSUE 10248, P41, 3-446, AUGUST 08, 2020.
**Runge CL, Henion K, Tarima S, Beiter A, & Zwolan TA. Clinical Outcomes of the Cochlear™ Nucleus®5 Cochlear Implant System.