BACKGROUND : Hearing loss prevalence data in South Africa is scarce, especially within primary health care settings.
OBJECTIVES : To determine; (i) the prevalence of hearing disorders in patients ≥3 years of age attending two primary health care
clinics, and (ii) the nature and characteristics of hearing disorders at these primary health care clinics.
METHOD : A cross-sectional design was used at two primary health care clinics. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to
screen participants at clinics for hearing loss with pure tone audiometry. A total of 1236 participants were screened (mean age
37.8 ±17.9 years). Diagnostic testing was available for confirmation of hearing loss on participants who failed the screening.
RESULTS : Hearing loss prevalence was 17.5% across both clinics. Most hearing losses were bilateral (70.0%) and were of a sensorineural
CONCLUSION : Hearing loss prevalence was comparable at both primary health care clinics. Participants 40 years and older were
at significantly higher risk for hearing loss. The current study is the first attempt to establish hearing loss prevalence for primary
health care clinics in South Africa.