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4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
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Contents >> Health conditions >> Sight and hearing

SIGHT AND HEARING

Definition

This topic covers detailed information about sight and hearing, including conditions that can be corrected (for instance by glasses) through to total blindness or deafness.

Population

Information was obtained for all persons in the NHS.

Methodology

Respondents were first asked questions to determine whether or not they were colour blind (not conceptually considered to be a long term condition but is included as a long-term condition in the ICD10), and then whether they wore glasses or contact lenses to correct or partially correct their eyesight. Persons who did so were shown the following prompt card listing a number of sight conditions which are currently corrected or partially corrected by glasses or contact lenses, and asked to select any conditions they may have had:

  • astigmatism
  • short sightedness/myopia/difficulty seeing objects in the distance
  • macular degeneration
  • other age related sight problems/presbyopia
  • long sightedness/hyperopia/difficulty seeing objects close up
  • other (one other eye sight problem could be recorded).

More than one response was allowed.

All persons were then asked whether they had any other sight problems. A list of conditions was provided to interviewers to make it easier to record the information. The listed categories were:
  • astigmatism
  • short sightedness/myopia/difficulty seeing objects in the distance
  • macular degeneration
  • other age related sight problems/presbyopia
  • long sightedness/hyperopia/difficulty seeing objects close up
  • totally blind in both eyes
  • totally blind in one eye
  • partially blind in both eyes
  • partially blind in one eye
  • glaucoma
  • cataracts
  • trachoma
  • lazy eye/strabismus
  • retinopathy
  • other (one other eye sight problem could be recorded).

More than one response was allowed.

Respondents who had previously reported having diabetes or high sugar levels and also a sight problem were asked whether any recorded sight conditions were caused by diabetes or high sugar levels and the time since they last consulted an eye specialist about that sight condition. For respondents with diabetes or high sugar levels who did not report that their sight problem was a result of their condition or reported that they did not have a sight problem, they were asked how long since they last consulted an eye specialist or optometrist.

All respondents were then asked whether they had any hearing problems or problems with their ears which had lasted, or were expected to last for six months or more. As with eye sight problems, a list of conditions was provided to interviewers to make it easier to record the information. The listed categories were:
  • total deafness
  • deaf in one ear
  • hearing loss/partially deaf
  • tinnitus
  • Meniere's Disease
  • Otitis Media
  • other (one other hearing or ear problem could be recorded).

More than one response was allowed.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.

Interpretation

Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic include the following:
  • Respondents may reported sight problems as being corrected by glasses that are not generally considered to be able to be corrected. Data is as reported by the respondent.
  • Sight and hearing problems are assumed to be current and long-term. As a result some reporting of short-term conditions may have been reported but have been classified as long-term.
  • Sight and hearing problems do not require diagnosis for reporting.

Comparability with 2007-08

Results from the 2011-12 survey are directly comparable with the 2007-08 survey.

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