4715.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2019   
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Ear disease and hearing problems


For many people, hearing loss is caused by long-term otitis media (middle ear infection) in childhood. Children who experience hearing loss may have difficulty following what is being taught at school, which may lead to poorer educational and employment outcomes in later life [1].

The proportion of people who reported having ear disease or hearing problems remained about the same between 2012–13 (12%) and 2018–19 (14%).

The proportion of people with ear disease or hearing problems was:

    • the same for males and females (both 14%)
    • about the same for people living in non-remote areas (14%) and remote areas (13%).

The proportion of people with ear disease or hearing problems generally increased with age. It increased from more than one in 10 for people aged 25–34 years (12%) or 35–44 years (15%) to more than three in 10 (34%) for people aged 55 years and over.

One in 10 (10%) people reported having partial or complete deafness in one or both ears.

The proportion of children aged 0–14 years who were deaf in one or both ears (4%) was about the same as in 2012–13 (3%) [2]. The proportion of children aged 0–14 years with long-term otitis media also did not change between 2012–13 and 2018–19 (both 3%) [2].


Footnotes
1. Creative Spirits, 2019, <http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/health/ear-health-and-hearing-loss>; last accessed 14/11/2019.
2. Sourced from Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012–13 (cat. no. 4727.0.55.001).