It’s the most wonderful time for your ears! Today marks the start of Hearing Awareness Week 2019, an annual affair aimed at raising the profile of the many Australians living with hearing loss. Awareness is just the start, so we’ve put together a list of tips to help you identify and understand hearing loss.
Know the Numbers
It’s estimated that around 3.5 million Australians experience some form of hearing loss. That’s 1 in 6 Aussies – enough to make up the third largest city in Australia! And the cost of unaddressed hearing loss has reached approximately $750 billion in government medical funding. Based on stats alone, it pays (literally) to pay attention to your hearing health!
Facilitate Easy Listening
Communication is key for any industry, so creating a safer and more inclusive workplace for people with hearing loss should be a priority for Australian employment environments. For those in labour roles, that means providing adequate and accessible hearing protection, giving plenty of breaks, etc. In office settings, this can include things like considered seating arrangements, hearing loops, subtitles in presentations, and more. If an employee tells you they have trouble hearing, do not downplay the situation, as their performance and personal happiness may suffer!
One of the most important ways to get involved in Hearing Awareness Week is to assess your own hearing health. According to research, it can take people an average of seven years to go from thinking they may have hearing problems to actually seeking treatment. Don’t wait, as it could get worse. Seek a professional opinion as soon as possible!
Consider the Kids
According to our parent company Sonova, who run the Hear the World foundation, approximately 700k+ children across the world are born with hearing loss each year. While that stat is staggering, what’s even more eye-opening is the fact that many of those are born in low-income countries without adequate access to treatment. Since Australia is fortunate enough to provide healthcare to citizens, we encourage anyone who’s able to get their children checked this week. You can get further involved by donating to the cause internationally here.