One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, but as a culture, we have so far to go before it can be truly recognised and understood.
Even those who deal with hearing loss on a day-to-day basis aren’t always aware of just how it could be affecting their health, or how these problems could be avoided.
Alarmingly, only 10-20% of people whose lives could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them, meaning the remaining 80-90% could be putting their long-term health at risk.
This week marks Hearing Awareness Week – an important time for all Australians to become aware of the realities of hearing loss and the best ways to deal with them. Here are five things you can do to help – starting today.
Seek medical assistance sooner (and encourage your loved ones to do to same)
On average, it can take somebody with hearing loss seven years to seek treatment. During this time, their quality of life can decrease in some subtle but harmful ways, increasing frustration, social isolation and overall health.
The symptoms can creep in very slowly over the years, and aren’t always obvious. Recognising certain sounds may become more difficult. Words may be more frequently misunderstood. Keeping up with conversations (particularly in loud areas) can begin to feel a little more exhausting. The default volume on a television might creep up past average levels.
If you have noticed some of the subtle signs of hearing loss in yourself or another, now is the time to act. Click here to book an appointment.
Recognise that hearing loss can be invisible
Chances are many people in your life deal with hearing loss in one form or another. Many may even wear hearing devices without your knowledge.
David Brody, chair of Deafness Forum Australia, told We’re All Ears that it’s not always easy to know if somebody has a hearing loss. “We need people to understand what hearing impairment is,” he said, “and how to communicate effectively with people who are deaf or hearing impaired”.
Click here for some helpful pointers on how to communicate with somebody with hearing loss.
Know the technology available to you and your loved ones
The image of hearing aids as bulky, attention-getting devices is still prevalent among many Australians – and this stigma can stop those with hearing loss from taking that important next step.
Hearing technology has developed to such an advanced and personalised extent that many hearing aids are now almost – or entirely – invisible. A little research can make a world of difference. Click here to learn more about the options available.
Don’t let cost get in the way
Even for those who recognise the need for a hearing device, it’s possible that the right solution may simply seem too expensive. While prices for certain products can certainly be high, there are also some ways to make it easier.
Options available include health fund rebates, free hearing services for pensioners and no-interest payment plans. Click here to keep updated on the ways you can make this easier.
Keep in the loop
Our understanding of hearing health – and the technology we can use to improve it – changes frequently. And by taking one simple step today, you can stay in the loop as soon as these new developments happen.
Our partners at We’re All Ears keep a wonderfully helpful guide to all hearing health matters – from tips on making it easier to new advancements and opportunities. Subscribe below, stay in the loop and get the peace of mind you need today.
This post is sponsored by connect hearing. Fore more information, please visit the We’re All Ears website.