AAP – August 20, 2011
More than half of Australians with hearing difficulties have not done anything to correct the problem, a survey has found.
Almost one in five Australians suffers from hearing loss, making it hard for them to communicate with family, friends and colleagues in noisy environments.
However, a survey of more than 1200 adults found that 52 per cent of those with hearing loss have not done anything to correct the problem.
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More than 40 per cent hadn’t even seen a doctor or health professional about it.
Professor Graeme Clark, who created the cochlear implant for moderately to profoundly deaf people, said many people with hearing loss were often embarrassed by their condition.
“It’s obvious that the stigma of hearing loss still has a major impact on people’s quality of life, but it must be remembered that hearing loss affects people of all ages, from newborns to elderly people – and there’s nothing to be ashamed of,” he said.
The Newspoll survey, commissioned by implant maker Cochlear to mark the start of Hearing Awareness Week on Sunday, found 72 per cent of people with hearing problems struggled in noisy environments.
Nearly a quarter said their working life was affected, and 45 per cent had difficulties interacting with family and friends.