Do you have any questions about your hearing?
Hearing Awareness Week was held in late August, highlighting the challenges faced by people with hearing loss.
Hearing Awareness Week is part of a campaign for greater recognition and awareness for hearing loss within our communities.
Hearing loss in Australia is predominately mild; however, the prevalence of hearing loss increases from 1% in people aged younger than fifteen years to 3 in every 4 people aged over seventy years.
By 2050, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians. The number of Australians who are hearing impaired or deaf is increasing because of long-term exposure to excessive noise in the workplace, recreational noise exposure, and a result of an ageing population.
“One of the main challenges of hearing loss is a reduced capacity to communicate,” says Joel Coultas, Principal Audiologist at Can:Do Hearing. “This can have a big impact on a person’s life, including the reduced opportunity to get a good education, to gain competitive skills and employment. It can also put quite a strain on relationships.”
Often described as ‘invisible’, hearing loss is not always obvious and those affected are often isolated through lack of access to communications.
“We need Australians to understand the various degrees of hearing loss, ear and balance disorders and how to communicate effectively with people who are Deaf or hearing impaired,” Joel adds.
People often wait for years before they seek help for their hearing loss. The key signs that are often ignored
- turning the TV or stereo up so loud that others complain
- frequently needing to ask others to repeat themselves, and
- not being able to hear properly on the telephone.
There is so much to be done to effectively address the level of un-managed hearing loss in the community.
“As technology continues to advance, people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids and cochlear implants. These innovations have made a positive difference in the way they can communicate and enjoy their lives; but communication can also be exhausting for a hearing impaired person, even with a hearing aid or cochlear implant. Hearing Awareness Week helps to highlight what it truly means to have a hearing loss and what the community can do to work together to provide the right support and solutions.” says Joel.
Hearing Awareness Week featured a range of promotional activities across Australia, including ‘silent’ sports events, public exhibitions on hearing technologies, and hearing safety training by employers to alert people to the issues. Can:Do Hearing celebrated this event by hosting an stall at Westfield West Lakes, providing mall patrons all the information they needed up their hearing and the services of Can:Do Hearing.