Hearing loss is common in Malaysia, with as many as 360,000 persons affected. With Malaysia's growing ageing population, this prevalence is expected to increase. In Malaysia, the universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) results showed that every 3.8 per 1,000 newborns have a hearing loss. Assuming a birth rate of 40,000 per year, there would be nearly 3,000 young persons in Malaysia, aged 19 years and below, born with a hearing loss. This figure excludes many more with hearing loss acquired later in life (Low, 2005).
In Malaysia, 27.6% of adults 60 years and above feel they have a hearing loss. 26.7% reported having difficulties following conversations in the presence of background noise (e.g. noise from a TV or radio; traffic noise in the street; people talking at other tables in crowded restaurants).