Our vision

We work closely with people with hearing loss, parents, family members and key stakeholders including clinicians, support groups, government, and industry to improve prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss in Australia and around the world. 

One in six people currently live with hearing loss. This is set to increase to one in four by 2050. Hearing loss is the 5th leading cause of years lived with disability internationally. Hearing loss is linked to AUD$33.3 billion costs per year in Australia (based on 2017 estimates), due to lost productivity, costs of care and impact on quality of life. 

At least half the cases of hearing loss in adults and children are potentially preventable (e.g. by addressing noise exposure and middle ear disease). Effective interventions for hearing loss are available, but many people lack access to information and resources to make informed choices, or delay using hearing devices due to perceived stigma of hearing loss. Hearing professionals are overly focused on supply and fitting of hearing devices, and may neglect other approaches (e.g. communication training) that effectively reduce the impact of hearing loss. 

There are difficulties accessing good quality hearing care in Australia, especially for people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people living in rural and remote areas and those living in residential aged care facilities. Over 80% of people with hearing loss live in low- and middle-income countries and have little or no access to hearing care at all. 

These are the challenges that CHEAR aims to address. 

Hearing loss

Hearing loss is usually due to damage to the inner ear. It can affect one ear or both ears and leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or other sounds. Among children, hearing loss critically impacts social and educational development and limits life opportunities. Among adults, hearing loss is linked to reduced quality of life, under- and un-employment, social isolation, anxiety and depression, poorer general health, increased cognitive decline and risk of dementia.

Our objectives

CHEAR aims to: 

  • provide a platform for increased multi-disciplinary collaboration in world-leading research and research training in relation to prevention, identification and management of hearing loss across the lifespan.
  • engage with other universities, industry, government, and community to foster mutually beneficial partnerships and delivery of research that is aligned with industry, government, and community priorities.
  • support student and health professional education and training in prevention, identification, and management of hearing loss.