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World Hearing Day – Hearing loss affects quality of life

The World Health Organisation highlight the 3rd of March to remind us of the fragility of hearing health, it’s impact on our quality of life and ways to protect our hearing.

4 million Australians are hearing impaired OR DEAF. And hearing loss is on the rise.

The day aims to eliminate the stigma, isolation, lack of work opportunities, and the associated health issues to improve the overall quality of life for people with deafness or hearing impairment.

It is often described as the ‘invisible disability’. This is partly because hearing aids tend not to be obvious and also because those affected are often isolated through lack of access to communications.

“We need Australians to understand the various degrees of hearing loss and ear and balance disorders and how to communicate effectively with people who are Deaf or hearing impaired,” said Michelle Soares Mendes at Dunsborough & Margaret River Hearing.

“As technology advances, many people with hearing loss benefit from hearing aids and cochlear implants. These innovations have made a positive difference in the way they can communicate and enjoy their lives, but communication can be exhausting for a hearing impaired person, even with a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

People often wait for years before they seek help for their hearing loss. They ignore the signs, which include turning the TV or stereo up so loud that others complain, frequently needing to ask others to repeat themselves and not being able to hear properly on the telephone.

“Many people, especially adults, cannot afford to buy and maintain their own hearing devices. One of the greatest challenges is a lack of recognition of the life-long financial burdens to access education and to participate fully in the workforce,” Michelle Soares Mendes said.

The number of Australians who are deaf or hearing impaired is increasing because of long-term exposure to excessive noise – often in the workplace – accidents, the environment and the ageing of the population.

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