Hearing loss affects relationships

Half of Australians have a close family member with moderate-to-profound hearing loss, with nine in 10 believing it affects relationships.


This is one of the headline findings in a new report released on World Hearing Day (Sunday 3 March) that surveyed attitudes of Australians – and people in four other countries around the world about hearing loss.


The State of Hearing Report, conducted for Cochlear, reveals people know that Australians with hearing loss are facing social isolation, declining self-esteem and losing the ability to communicate as their families feel the strain.


In a global comparison, Australia outperformed the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan on how people rated the provision of education about preventing and treating hearing loss. Australia also ranks among the best overall in how people rated the availability of support facilities (including hearing checks, public facilities such as transport, and access to treatment).


The report revealed that despite 96 per cent of surveyed Australians recognising the ability to hear as important for overall quality of life, only 37 per cent have had a hearing test in the last two years.


This suggests that people could do more to take control of their hearing. Getting a hearing test and seeking information about potential treatment options could be the first step towards better hearing, which may help keep the mind sharp and strengthen social connections.


Seven in 10 Australians said they believed hearing loss was unavoidable as people get older. This rose to eight in 10 for Australians aged 65 and above, who have some form of hearing loss.


Hearing loss affects an estimated 3.6 million people in Australia, or one in seven people, a number that is expected to more than double by 2060.


The State of Hearing Report 2019 surveyed 1,270 Australians, along with more than 6,000 people in Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and United States.


This World Hearing Day, Cochlear and the World Health Organisation are urging people around the world to treat their hearing as a vital health priority by having their hearing


See also the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission article on hearing aids - “Before you buy a hearing aid, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself” at https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/health-home-transport/hearing-aids


7 March 2019.