ADVERTISING FEATURE: Aussies failing to prioritise hearing health

Caroline Reichard with her grandson Bowie. Photo: Julie Firmstone.

WORLD Hearing Day was held around the globe on March 3, with Port Stephens residents reminded to prioritise their hearing health.

A recent survey reveals that only two percent of Australians prioritise their hearing over other health aspects such as physical health (52 percent), mental health (20 percent), eye care (ten percent), dental health (nine percent), and skin care (seven percent).

An estimated one in four people worldwide are predicted to be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050.

Hearing loss costs Australians around $11.75 billion annually in lost productivity and other impacts.

While awareness exists, there is a significant gap in making hearing checks a priority, particularly for older Australians.

While 77 percent of Australians know where to go to get their hearing tested, only 38 percent have undergone a hearing test in the last three years.

Two in three adults over the age of 60 years experience some degree of hearing loss.

This increases to four in five adults aged 80 and over.

Caroline Reichard, a 62-year-old recently retired wife, mother, friend, and grandmother from Port Stephens, faced a lifelong struggle with single-sided deafness.

However, in her early forties, she encountered a decline in the hearing ability of her ‘good’ ear.

As her hearing in her right ear began to deteriorate, Caroline found it increasingly challenging to hear clearly at her workplace.

Eventually, at her husband’s persuasion, she consulted with an audiologist who provided her with a hearing aid.

“This wasn’t just like opening one door to a world of hearing possibilities; it felt like unlocking 10,000 doors,” said Caroline.

Caroline now has a bimodal hearing solution, which means she has a hearing aid in her right ear and a cochlear implant in her left ear, which has enabled her to have 95 percent hearing in quiet listening environments.

The most important thing for Caroline is that her ability to hear clearly has reconnected her to the sounds she cherishes.

She can now hear every word her grandchildren utter, no longer missing precious moments or having to request explanations from her daughter.

Improved hearing has had a significant positive impact on her social confidence, enabling her to meet friends at noisy cafés and restaurants without worrying in advance about where she will be seated, as she no longer relies on lip reading.


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