Hearing Awareness Week – By Interchange Australia Marketing Manager, Joseph Lyons
Approximately 3.5 million Australians are affected by hearing loss – that equates to one in six people.
One third of these people experience a loss that is moderate or severe to profound.
As people age, the prevalence of hearing loss rises significantly. 75% of people aged over 70 years have some degree of hearing impairment.
Some of the major factors that have contributed to the increasing prevalence of hearing impairment or deafness include long-term exposure to excessive noise in the workplace, the environment and our ageing population. By 2050, hearing loss is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians.
Hearing Awareness Week is observed from the 3rd to 9th March. The Deafness Forum of Australia use this week to highlight the issues faced by people with hearing loss and to continue to campaign for greater recognition for the issue.
The level of un-managed hearing loss in the community is a major health concern. There are a high number of people living in aged care facilities who have not been diagnosed and sometimes their hearing loss is confused with dementia.
Indigenous hearing health in remote parts of Australia is also a major issue.
Throughout Hearing Awareness Week, activities such as ‘silent’ sports events, public exhibitions on hearing technologies, and hearing safety training by employers to alert people to the issues will be held across the country.
For more information, please visit the Hearing Awareness Week website.