Hearing Awareness Week reminds us that there’s no doubt about it. The incidence of hearing loss is increasing.
Recently, the World Health Organisation published these shocking facts about hearing loss:
- About 466 million people live with disabling hearing loss.
- Unaddressed hearing loss is the leading cause of health problems. It poses an annual cost of $750 billion globally.
- Health experts expect the prevalence of hearing loss to increase due to ageing populations, increasing exposure to risk factors such as recreational noise, and persistence of untreated ear conditions such as otitis media.
In Australia, we know at least one in seven people have a significant hearing loss (that’s 3.6 million people). This number increases to one in three people over the age of 65.
Prevention is better than cure
According to hearing health experts, hearing loss is often preventable.
Ear protection is common in the workplace, but many workers don’t take it seriously. To avoid permanent damage, it’s essential to protect your hearing if you work in noisy workplaces.
Listening to loud music through earphones is another common source of hearing damage.
The reality is that once you damage your hearing, the loss is irreversible. There’s no way of getting back the hearing you once had.
What can you do about ‘normal’ hearing loss?
It’s true that as we age, our hearing suffers. And just as many of us find we need glasses to see more clearly, it’s normal to lose hearing clarity after the age of 40.
The thing is, hearing loss happens over time. It’s a gradual process. And it’s common for people to adjust to their loss of hearing.
But unlike our eyesight, it’s also common for people to avoid doing something about their hearing loss.
Common strategies to overcome hearing loss are:
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Depending on their partner to repeat the conversation
- Turning the volume up on the TV or radio
- Avoiding social situations
Hearing loss can have a huge impact on your health
The World Health Organisation, and many researchers around the world have reported on the profound impact hearing loss has on our overall health.
Hearing loss can have a serious impact on your health. Here are a few facts:
- People with severe hearing loss may be five times more likely to develop dementia.
- Hearing loss can cause people to avoid social gatherings. They can become socially disconnected. This can lead to more serious health conditions like depression and anxiety.
- The mental strain of struggling to listen to sounds can mean people pay less attention to how their body moves and are more likely to have falls.
Hearing Awareness Week & World Hearing Day – raising awareness, encouraging action
The aim of Hearing Awareness Week in Australia (Sunday, March 3 to Saturday, March 9) and World Hearing Day (March 3, 2019) is to raise our awareness of the importance of taking care of your hearing.
The key messages are:
- Take simple preventative measures to protect your hearing. Turn the volume down and use earplugs or other forms of hearing protection.
- Everyone should have a hearing check from time to time. If you’re aged over 50, you’re at higher risk of hearing loss, so have your hearing checked every year or so. If you work in noisy places, or if you listen to music at high volume for long periods of time, you’re also at more risk of hearing loss.
Hearing aids to the rescue!
If your hearing care specialist finds you have a hearing loss, they may prescribe hearing aids.
Today’s hearing aids stylishly designed and discreet. Not only can they amplify sounds, but many are also designed to help you hear conversations clearly even when there’s background noise.
Unfortunately, only one in four people who have a hearing loss take action and have hearing aids fitted. And some who do buy hearing aids leave them in the drawer.
Hearing aid wearers need to be realistic
At My Hearing, we find that many people have unrealistic expectations. We can’t promise you’ll get back the hearing you had before it was damaged. But we can help you hear more clearly in many day-to-day situations.
The experts tell us that it takes your brain up to two years to adjust to the sounds you hear through your hearing aids. So, you really need to persist until your brain gets used to them.
Our recommendations are:
- Take measures to PROTECT your hearing
If you work in a noisy environment, prevent unnecessary hearing loss. Protect your hearing by wearing ear muffs or ear plugs. If you love listening to music, keep the volume at a reasonable level.
- Book in for a REGULAR HEARING TEST
We recommend you have a hearing check every couple of years. It’s quick and painless and it’s usually free.
- Consider trying out the latest HEARING AIDS
Though many people don’t like the idea of wearing hearing aids, they can make a huge difference to your listening comfort. And they’re smaller and more effective than ever before. If you have a hearing loss, it’s worth giving them a try.
Get in touch!
If you have any questions, please give us a call on 1300 970 558 to make an appointment online.