Experts are urging Australians to seek out help for their hearing loss, whatever their age, arguing it is the key to healthy ageing. and living well. Speaking ahead of World Hearing Day (WHD) on the 3rd of March, hearing industry leader Ear Science Institute Australia said people were taking 7 to 10 years from when they realise there is a problem with their hearing to seeking out effective interventions that could help them hear better and stay connected to the world around them.
One in six Australians has hearing loss, a condition that is linked to cognitive decline and can make you up to five times more likely to develop dementia, making early intervention critical.
Ear Science Institute Australia reports that about half of those aged 60-70 years, the new breed of ‘young seniors’ who have hearing loss, persevere in life untreated. WHD raises awareness and highlights the importance of good hearing and ways to prevent or treat hearing loss.
The 2021 theme for WHD set by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “Hearing care for ALL.” Ear Science Institute Australia is the only WHO Collaborating Centre in Australia for Ear and Hearing Care and is excited to have Australian cricket legend Justin Langer spearheading its 2021 campaign. His call to action ‘HEAR WELL. LIVE WELL.’, is urging people to go for a check-up and not let hearing loss limit their life.
Sandra Bellekom, CEO of Ear Science Institute Australia says, “Hearing aids and cochlear implants keep people youthful, particularly with emerging research linking hearing loss to healthy cognition. Ear Science owns and operates Lions Hearing Clinics which are located across WA and offer a full range of hearing solutions for patients.
“Some of the fear of making the leap to deciding it’s the right time to get hearing devices, particularly for men, is that it can mark the moment in their life where they go from feeling mature to feeling elderly, and it shouldn’t.”
“So, we’re trying to turn that concept on its head, because it’s actually the opposite. If you don’t do something about it when you first notice something – and instead leave it till you’re 80 or 90, it’s a lot harder to manage the devices and retrain the brain to hear all those sounds. A better life starts ‘hear’.”
Lions Hearing Clinics focus solely on hearing and is part of Ear Science Institute Australia, a world-renowned research centre, all funds feed directly back into research. Lions offer comprehensive hearing services throughout 16 clinics in WA, as well as free hearing screenings online.
“We want to remind people that to hear well is to live well,” says Sandra.