Growing Prevalence of Hearing Loss:
Hearing loss is the second most common health condition in Australia, impacting 1 in 6 Australians. These figures are expected to increase to 1 in 4 Australians by the year 2050. Hearing loss can be present from birth (congenital) or occur later in life (acquired), and while it can affect individuals of any age, it is increasingly prevalent in the older population. More than 50% of individuals aged between 61 – 70 suffer from hearing loss, and 74% for individuals over the age of 71. Despite the rise in hearing loss and the advancement in hearing aid technology, only 1 in 5 Australians who could benefit from hearing aids use them.
Signs of Hearing Loss Include:
Early signs of hearing loss can be subtle. It is important to seek help as soon as possible, as delaying the process can lead to greater impairment and also results in the brain needing more time to acclimatize to hearing new sounds. Below are some common signs of hearing loss:
- Asking others to repeat themselves frequently.
- Missing parts of words or feeling like others are mumbling.
- Trouble following conversations in noise or group settings.
- Experiencing fatigue after socializing.
- Having to turn the TV/Radio louder than others in the room.
- Having trouble hearing over the phone.
Consequences of Hearing Loss:
Communication is a fundamental aspect of our lives. Hearing loss affects our ability to understand speech, thus impacting the way we connect and communicate with others. Hearing loss can profoundly decrease your quality of life and so it is very important that you are aware of your hearing health. You may begin to feel social isolation due to limited interactions in family conversations, inability to participate in leisurely activities and perform optimally at work, and sometimes it can also start to effect your safety (e.g. becoming restricted in your ability to hear a smoke alarm, or passing traffic). Some other ways in which hearing loss can affect your everyday life is by impacting your ability to hold a conversation in noisy environments, hearing the phone or doorbell ring, enjoying music, and/ or hearing important announcement on public transport. Not only can untreated hearing loss become a nuisance, but it is also linked to adverse health affects, some of which include;
- Poor mental health, by increasing the risks of developing depression and anxiety disorders
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Contribution to a faster rate of atrophy in the brain, as shown in brain scans at the Johns Hopkins Hospital
(Atrophy in the brain is the loss of a form of brain cells called neurons, which form connections that help cells to communicate)
If you are concerned about your hearing health or have experienced two or more of the signs (as mentioned above), it is highly recommended that you get your hearing tested. The professional and friendly Audiologists and Audiometrists at Natural Hearing are highly qualified in diagnosing hearing loss, and providing you with hearing aids and assistive listening devices of the most advanced technology to help overcome any impairments faced. Our professionals also have over 28 years of extensive experience, both nationally and internationally, in providing rehabilitation plans for dealing with hearing loss as well as Tinnitus management. Our clinicians believe that hearing aids can greatly benefit those who are hard of hearing, and can be fine tuned and tailored to match each individuals lifestyle, listening goals and more importantly, their hearing loss. Hearing aids provide amplification of all sounds, particularly focusing on increasing the audibility of speech while reducing the interference caused by background noise. Hearing aids can increase your quality of life by decreasing any listening strains experienced, and alleviating social isolation by allowing you to integrate back into the listening world. Not only will conversation be easier to follow, but you will be able to experience everyday sounds, which you may have previously been missing out on. Hearing aids reawaken auditory centers of the brain and welcomes you back to a sound rich world.
Natural Hearing is providing free hearing assessments and hearing aid checks in all branches for Pensioners, and Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) clients. Click here to view all our locations or alternatively, you can give us a call at 1300 039 203 or visit us online at www.naturalhearing.com.au.