Hearing Loss

Is more common that most realise and has a major impact on quality of life

How common?

Hearing assessment

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

It’s more common than you think…..

Research shows that more than half the people with reduced hearing are under the age of 65! Some people acquire hearing loss for a number of reasons.

  • Family history – genetically passed on Noise Exposure
  • Oto-toxic Drugs
  • Childhood Virus or Ear Infection
  • Trauma to the Ear or Head
  • Diseases of the Ear – like Otosclerosis

Fortunately our Statewide Neonatal Screening Program for Hearing (SWISH) is picking up those newborn babies with significant hearing loss – but others develop hearing loss later.

And then there’s the Four Year Old Check-up before we start school.
Please read the section in this website: Why Do We Test Children Before They Start School? The 4 Year Old Hearing Check.

But when is our next hearing assessment scheduled?

Many other check-ups are usually an annual event and we receive reminders from our family doctor or a letter in the mail – dental, cardiac, blood tests, Gynaecological, bowel check, even a basic test for vision is included at intervals with our driver’s licence renewal – but it’s up to you to schedule your own hearing check-up.

The progressive degenerative loss that we acquire as we age is very subtle. It can begin with not quite catching all of the conversation at the dinner table or in a restaurant or perhaps just needing the volume for the TV turned up a little louder.

There’s no harm in having your hearing checked. At least you’ll know if there’s a problem or not and you can have it investigated by a professional if there is.

Every adult over 55 should have a routine annual hearing test.

Noise exposure with headphones & earbuds

Noise exposure is becoming quite a concern. There are regulations governing hearing protection in the noisy workplace. Although, we do still see some cases of noise-induced hearing loss from rogue employers and employees who ignore the rules there.

One major concern these days is noise-induced hearing loss from headphones and earbuds. Listening to your playlist as you go for a jog or cranking up the sound when you’re gaming or even delighting in your favourite section of classical music – yep – it can all be causing permanent damage if it’s too loud for too long. It can also be causing permanent Tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in your ears). This also applies to children who are not using volume limiting headphones with their iPad or iPhone.

The advice from NAL’s Hearing Hub is: use your headphones or earbuds for no more than 90 minutes each day with the volume no louder than 80%.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 1 billion young people are in danger of hearing loss from portable audio devices, including smart phones.

Toddler with headphones

Hearing Tests & Assessments

If you know of any family, friend or person you care about who has hearing loss, please ask them to give Westside Hearing and Balance Clinic a call on 9749 4444 or book an appointment.