Hearing Awareness Week at Attune Hearing: Promoting Hearing Health for All
Hearing Awareness Week is from the 1st to the 7th of March, an annual event highlighting the issues faced by Australians with hearing loss. This week is a time for Australians to focus on the importance of hearing health and support those around them who are suffering from hearing loss.
On average, one in six Australians has a hearing disability. This week encourages us to understand the issues that this large group of people face and promote the positive impacts of looking after our hearing health. Looking after ourselves and one another is essential for our quality of life, social engagement, career, confidence and communication, and is what Hearing Awareness Week is trying to foster.
As a part of this week, the World Health Organisation will be hosting World Hearing day on Thursday the 3rd of March. It focuses on the wonderful ability of our ears to hear and listen to music, people, and the sounds of the world around us, while spreading awareness on preventing deafness, managing hearing loss, and promoting hearing healthcare.
Types of Hearing Loss
In Australia, about 3.6 million people have some level of hearing loss, over 1.3 million of which could have been prevented. Hearing loss can exhibit many degrees of severity, meaning many solutions and treatments also exist.
Taking care of your hearing health means visiting a qualified audiologist to determine what type of hearing loss you have so that you can find a suitable solution sooner rather than later.
An audiologist is likely to diagnose you with hearing loss within one of the three following categories:
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Conductive hearing loss
- Mixed hearing loss (sensorineural & conductive)
Learning more about different types of hearing loss is one of the best ways to stay on top of your hearing health. If you would like to learn more about each type of hearing aid and how to manage it, follow this link to compare the differences between sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Prevention
While most cases of hearing loss are manageable; prevention is always more ideal. We can gently implement many actions into our lives to take control of our hearing now and prevent hearing loss before it occurs. These actions include:
Avoid noisy environments
Being in excessively loud environments like sporting venues, concerts, or parties has the potential to harm your hearing. The louder the noise is, the more likely you will be at risk of hearing loss even with minimal exposure.
While you cannot always avoid being in noisy places, you can try and move away from speakers or the entire situation if possible to reduce the amount of time you are exposed to the noise.
Consider your volume levels
Extended time listening to music or podcasts with earphones or headphones can increase your risk of hearing loss, especially if you have the volume up too loud. If you find yourself needing to consistently turn the volume up to hear the TV or the radio, you may be suffering from hearing loss and should have your hearing tested.
Be aware of your hearing in the workplace
Your workplace has the responsibility, according to the Code of Practice for Managing Noise and Preventing Hearing Loss at Work, to regularly perform audiometric testing and implement measures that minimise noise exposure.
If your workplace exposes you to noise levels above 85 decibels, you are being put at risk of hearing loss. It is important to be aware of this, inform your workplace if they aren’t taking adequate measures, and protect yourself by regularly having your hearing checked.
Ensure your ears stay dry
Getting water stuck in your ears can be a great source of discomfort that can also have detrimental effects on your hearing health. It can result in inflammation or infection such as Otitis Externa or Swimmer’s Ear, affecting the way you hear until treated by medication or antibiotics.
Keeping your ears dry can protect you from these scenarios and ensure hearing loss doesn’t occur as a result.
Regularly have your hearing tested
Regular hearing checks are the most important step in preventing hearing loss. Sometimes hearing loss can come on so gradually that you don’t notice it before it becomes too severe, making regular checkups from a professional invaluable.
At Attune, we are passionate about accessible and quality hearing healthcare for everyone. We offer free annual 15-minute hearing checks with our qualified audiologists across our Australian clinics that you can inquire about online.
The Power of Knowledge & Awareness
Dealing with hearing loss can become overwhelming, isolating and even confusing at times. While the stigma around deafness and hearing loss is slowly deteriorating, there is still much work to be done and knowledge to share. Hearing Awareness Week aims to continue being a channel for open communication and discussion around hearing loss and encouraging people to get their hearing tested rather than judging people for being complacent.
Hearing loss is never intentional and can result from accidental noise exposure, ageing, genetics, or environmental factors, meaning it can affect people of any age. While this can be daunting, you can find a sense of relief in the advancements of hearing aid and cochlear implant technology. These devices can significantly improve the hearing and lives of those suffering from hearing loss, enabling them to better communicate with the people in their lives.
If you have begun to notice a decline in your hearing ability or a loved one struggling with their hearing, you could definitely benefit from a hearing test. You can contact the team at Attune to book a check-up with one of our qualified audiologists and ensure your hearing health is on track. At Attune, we offer a range of hearing services, including noise assessments, audiometric testing, hearing aid consultations, custom hearing production, and workplace hearing solutions. Take control and invest in yourself by booking a hearing assessment today!