Hearing loss is the most common chronic disability in the world (World Health Organization) with one in six Australians affected by hearing loss. The primary causes of hearing loss are genetic, infectious disease (especially in children), noise exposure and ageing. The Raine Study investigated the hearing health of the cohort during the early years of life. At age one, two and three years, participants were screened for ear drum abnormalities and hearing loss, data was collected for otitis media, grommet insertion, ototoxic medications and general practitioner and medical specialist visits.  At five years of age tympanometry (an objective test of middle-ear function that measures energy transmission through the middle ear) was performed on all members of the Raine cohort.


The Otolaryngology group is currently undertaking a review and analysis of the existing ear and hearing related data and has proposed a comprehensive assessment of hearing in the next Raine Study cohort review.  This study will explore in detail the issue of noise exposure, particularly during the adolescent years. There is increasing evidence that adolescents and young adults are exposed to high levels of recreational noise, for example from personal music players and entertainment venues. The impact of this on long-term hearing is unclear.


Research Team

Adj Professor Robert Eikelboom BEng, MApplSc, PhD

Chris Brennan-Jones BSc (Hons)               

Professor Marcus Atlas MBBS FRACS

Professor Peter Friedland MBBCh FCS

Dr Jae Park DBS MBBS

Ear Science Institute Australia, and Ear Sciences Centre, UWA


Professor De Wet Swanepoel

University of Pretoria, South Africa


Dr Sarra Jamieson MSc PhD

Prof Andrew Whitehouse PhD

Angela Jacques MSc

Telethon Kids Institute


Dr Mary Hegarty

Princess Margaret Hospital for Children


Dr Joanne White

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK


Dr Robert Margolis

University of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA