Are you finding it is getting harder to hear your family and friends?

As Hearing Awareness week approaches, local audiometrist Annie Zhang, is calling on the community to prioritise hearing health by booking a free, 15-minute initial hearing check to improve their overall health, wellbeing, and relationships.

“The last year has been like no other. Many Australians have felt disconnected from loved ones, missing out on gatherings and celebrations with family and friends. These feelings of isolation can mirror day-to-day life for someone experiencing hearing loss.”

Good hearing is central to being able to connect with friends and family. Taking that first step and getting your hearing checked can truly be life-changing.

Hearing and relationships

Annie says the home is often the safest space to start a conversation about hearing health with loved ones, but it is also the first place that hearing loss challenges can first manifest.

Eight out of 10 Australians say home is the place where they most want to be heard. Yet, it is a space where many Australians feel the most overlooked, with four in ten struggling to be heard at home.

The Connect and Be Heard Report from Connect Hearing, reveals that the experience of hearing loss can be tough.

When my sister and I noticed that our mother was becoming more withdrawn and seemed less able to engage with her grandchildren, we feared she was experiencing some cognitive deterioration. We finally realised that the problem was hearing loss and we had to have the difficult conversation about hearing aids.

Annie says it is best to approach these conversations with empathy and patience.

“No one chooses for their health to decline, and just as eye health may require support and intervention to improve quality of life, so too may hearing health.”

As a community, we need to be talking more about incorporating regular hearing checks into our routine health check-ups, just as we do with regular eye tests, Annie says.

Don’t leave it too late

The Connect and Be Heard Report uncovered that throughout 2020, six out of 10 Australians reported that they were separated from a loved one at some point, and after reconnecting, one in four noticed hearing loss or discussed it with a loved one.

Annie says that while many Australians wear hearing aids, many others are unaware they have hearing issues, and others don’t want to admit that their hearing has declined.

“In terms of managing hearing loss; the sooner, the better,” she said.

“No matter the cause, early detection and care are best, but it’s never too late to see a clinician – for most people, their hearing loss will be manageable.”

“If you think your hearing may have changed, either rapidly or over time, you should make an appointment to see a hearing care clinician.”

Hearing Aids

Hearing services such as Connect Hearing offer a wide variety of models of aids at different prices, depending on the wearer’s personal preferences, technology, and features.

Aids are available from Bluetooth enabled technology to feedback suppression and noise reduction features.

Annie says modern hearing aid devices are built to ensure ultimate convenience and hearing clarity.

Some people are worried about costs, but financing options are available for self-funded clients, pensioners, veterans, workers compensation clients, NDIS recipients and more.

Eligible Australians can receive a pair of fully subsidised standard hearing aids through the Australian Government under the Hearing Services Program. As part of this program, these clients can also choose to top up their subsidy and purchase other devices with improved technology.

Getting your test

Annie recommends that you include a hearing test in your annual personal health check-ups.

For a free15-minute initial hearing with Connect Hearing, you can book at:

  • Connect Hearing Brisbane, located at Suite 2/113 Wickham Terrace, Brisbane City QLD 4000. To book call (07) 4930 0095.
  • Or Connect Hearing Jindalee, located at Shop 15, Jindalee Allsports Village Shopping Centre, 19 Kooringal Dr, Jindalee QLD 4074. To book, call (07) 3376 0025.
  • Or Connect Hearing Sunnybank, located at Ground Floor, Suite 6/309-313 Mains Rd, Sunnybank QLD 4190. To book, call (07) 3344 3000

Annie Zhang, Connect Hearing – Image Supplied

The Federal Government funded Hearing Australia also has a number of locations in Brisbane.

Feature Image – Shutterstock by steph photographies