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Audiology Australia Calls for a National Rethink on Hearing Health

Mar 1, 2024

Media Release

For World Hearing Day on 3 March, Audiology Australia (AudA) is challenging Australians to a national rethink on hearing health, as they put pressure on government, policy makers and the sector to commit to making access to ear and hearing care a reality for all.

“We’re calling time on stigma, embarrassment, and inaction. It’s time for us to get real about hearing health as a country. We need to walk the talk on improving equity of access to services and change community mindsets about hearing health, its role in health and quality of life and importantly the benefits of seeking help through an AudA accredited Audiologist,” says AudA President, Dr Barbra Timmer.

With almost 1 in 7 expected to be affected by hearing loss at some stage of their lives and great solutions available, AudA CEO, Leanne Emerson says AudA wants Australia to prioritise taking care of your hearing and see it as routine as having an eye test.

“Looking after your hearing and addressing changes is no different to eye health. Whether you are three or 93, the options available to help have come such a long way even in the past 5 to 10 years. Don’t join those who wish they’d done something sooner,” she says.

The cost of not taking care of your hearing is more than economic. Dr Timmer warns not prioritising ear and hearing health can come with significant consequences at any age and across all aspects of life.

“A holistic approach to our health means also caring for our hearing at every age. This is critical to prevent hearing loss and to identify and get help for hearing changes to improve communication, mental health, relationships, and connection to community which all contribute quality of life and support healthy ageing,” she says.

With the World Health Organisation warning 80% of ear and hearing care needs remain unmet globally, AudA is also putting government, policy makers and the sector on notice to deepen their commitment to improving access to services particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and those living in regional and remote areas.

“There are still many Australians who have little to no access to appropriate, culturally safe hearing care. This should not be. We have the blueprint through initiatives and resources like the Roadmap for Hearing Health and the Workforce Summit, that outline what must be done to ensure equitable access for all.

Instrumental to changing perception of hearing loss and improving access to ear and hearing care is how it is understood and valued by other areas of health including GPs and emergency room doctors.

“While it intersects with many areas of health, hearing health is just not on the radars of many other practitioners. We need to improve how it is understood by GPs and other health practitioners, so they are aware when or why to refer a patient to an audiologist,” says Dr Timmer.

World Hearing Day is this Sunday, 3 March. AudA’s conversation about changing mindsets and improving access to hearing health care continues online with interviews with audiologists around Australia. Read more at https://audiology.asn.au/world-hearing-day/

If you are experiencing changes in your hearing or would like to get an assessment of your ear and hearing health, you can find an Audiology Australia accredited audiologist in your local area using ‘Find an Audiologist here: https://audiology.asn.au/find-an-audiologist/

About Audiology Australia

Audiology Australia (AudA) is the peak accrediting professional member body for audiologists and leading voice for hearing health and audiology in Australia, representing over 98% of Australia’s audiology profession. Working to open up ear and hearing healthcare for all, AudA delivers accreditation, professional development and education, advocacy and networking and collaboration to support audiologists to provide the highest standard of contemporary hearing healthcare to Australians.

Available for Interview

Dr Barbra Timmer – AudA President, Leanne Emmerson – AudA CEO

Contact

Laura Watson, AudA Communications and PR Manager
M: 04215 18733
E: laura.watson@audiology.asn.au

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