Hearing loss affects approximately one in six Australians and, according to research, it takes on average 7-10 years for people to acknowledge they have hearing loss before taking action. Once you reach 40 years of age, hearing checks should be as regular as eye checks.
Signs you or someone you love may benefit from a hearing check
Hearing loss can be incredibly isolating, and our ability to form and maintain good social relationships is important to life satisfaction and good mental health. We are innately social creatures after all.
Specsavers research has found that Australians aged 40 years and older know at least two people they think suffer from hearing loss. It also found that 80% say they have felt concerned about their own hearing at some point in time, and of these the equivalent to two million Australians have felt concerned about their hearing frequently. That’s a lot of conversations missed!
If you or anyone you know experiences any of the below telltale signs, you may benefit from some expert qualified advice from your local audiologist:
• Do you have the TV or radio turned up louder than others find comfortable?
• Do you find telephone conversations hard work or find yourself always using the speaker option?
• Do you ask people to repeat things, or think many people are mumbling?
• Do you have difficulty following conversations in groups of people or find yourself lip reading or guessing what people are saying?
• Has someone suggested you might not be hearing as well as you used to?
How to ensure you protect your hearing health
I recommend a few simple things to help prolong your hearing:
• Test the noise around you with the ‘one metre rule’. If you need to raise your voice to talk to someone one metre away, the sound level is likely to be hazardous to hearing.
• Wear personal hearing protection such as earplugs, earmuffs or both - remembering that everyday equipment, such as lawnmowers and power tools may be loud enough to negatively impact your hearing.
• Finally, create a normal routine of hearing checks, so you can identify quickly when your hearing starts to diminish.
To find out more about what audiology services are covered under your Queensland Country Health Fund policy or how to claim, please contact our friendly team on 1800 813 415.