Are you losing your hearing?

Four in ten Australians with hearing loss have it because of noise exposure, making it the leading cause of hearing loss in this country.

This week is Hearing Awareness Week: a week intended to educate Australians about the dangers of hearing loss. One of the biggest reasons we are damaging our hearing is that noise exposure is cumulative over a life-time, meaning all those loud gigs you attended and bars you frequented as a young adult have taken a toll on your hearing health. And every over exposure event adds up – just like too much UV – radiation or exposure to the sun. So while in the short term there may seem to be no serious problems, in the long term you may have issues.

“Most Australians are completely unaware of the hearing damage they may be experiencing in everyday life, let alone the importance of getting their hearing checked regularly. When you add in the costs to relationships, performance at work, and impacts to health, there is an urgent need for more Australians to know about the risks and have their hearing checked more often,” says Professor David McAlpine, Director of Hearing Research at Macquarie’s Australian Hearing Hub.

The problem, Professor McAlpine says, is the fact that many Australian’s are wasting precious time as their hearing slips away, when they could be getting it treated, particularly in cases of ‘hidden hearing loss,’ which can affect their physical, social and emotional wellbeing.

“We are now seeing people experiencing hearing problems well before their 50s, when they still have decades of work and family life ahead of them. We need to preserve our hearing for as long as possible over a longer and longer lifespan,” says Professor McAlpine.

Getting regular hearing checks, Professor McAlpine says, is a great way to ensure that any form of ‘hidden hearing loss’ is picked up as early as possible.

“So if you think you have some form of hearing loss, don’t wait. Make a booking and get your hearing checked at the MQ Speech and Hearing Clinic or the clinic at Australian Hearing both located within the Australian Hearing Hub on campus.”

Show your support for services for, and research into, hearing health care:

Member Organisations of the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University have thrown their support behind a new campaign from The Deafness Forum of Australia which aims to make hearing a national health priority in Australia. The ‘Break The Sound Barrier’ campaign aims to garner support for adequate investment in services for, and research into, hearing impairment, and also raise awareness through community education. The Deafness Forum’s long term goal is for state and the federal governments to agree to make hearing Australia’s 10th national health priority so that hearing loss is no longer a barrier preventing too many Australians from reaching their potential.

You can sign up and support the campaign here: http://breakthesoundbarrier.org.au/