World Hearing Day Sunday 3 March

Contributed by Audika

1/03/2024 12:00:00 AM • 5 min to read

As World Hearing Day (3 March) approaches, new research from hearing experts, Audika, reveal a heartwarming insight: the sound of loved ones' voices holds a special place in the hearts of Australians. Topping the list of favourite sounds in a recent survey, over a third (36%)1 of the survey respondents ranked hearing their loved ones speak as their favourite sound, with over three quarters (77%) of these respondents claiming the sound makes them feel joyful.

Australian respondents were asked to rank six sounds by order of preference including listening to the sounds of music or film (21%), listening to the sounds of loved ones speak (36%), listening to the sounds of nature (20%), listening to the sounds of laughter (15%), listening to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of the city (4%), and listening to the sounds of pets (5%). Unsurprisingly, the hustle and bustle of the city came in last.

The survey, conducted in anticipation of World Hearing Awareness Week (1-7 March), also asked respondents to rank ‘iconic’ Australian sounds which saw the sounds of Kookaburra’s laughing selected as the most iconic Australian sound by almost a third (31%)1. This was closely followed by the sounds of the surf and waves crashing on the beach (29%)1.  

World Hearing Awareness Week, endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), serves as a global platform to advocate for ear and hearing care while raising awareness about preventing deafness and hearing loss.

Hearing loss advocate, Mackenzie Arnold, wants to use her platform and partnership with Audika to inspire Australians of all ages to get their hearing checked and break the stigma around hearing loss. She shares her most iconic Australian sound as well as tips on what to do this World Hearing Awareness Week.

“I love the sound of the surf and waves crashing on the beach. It reminds me of home and my childhood growing up on the Gold Coast. I am so grateful I get to continue hearing my favourite Aussie sounds because I got my hearing tested and got the right treatment for my hearing loss. Hearing can impact the way we feel about ourselves and others, and the way we engage in our surroundings and the community. My best advice for Aussies this World Hearing Day is get your hearing tested,” says Mackenzie.

Australians do care about their hearing but are choosing to neglect it

Despite acknowledging the importance of hearing— with 99% of respondents stating its significance— almost three quarters (73%) of survey respondents said they still neglect their hearing more than sight. In addition, a concerning 1 in 5 (20%) admitted to neglecting their hearing due to a lack of understanding and uncertainty about where to seek help. However, with the right knowledge and action, hearing loss can be prevented or managed effectively. 

Lauren McNee, Audiologist and Clinical Trainer at Audika, who has over 15 years in the industry, says hearing can have a profound impact on our relationships, self-confidence, and mental health. 

“There are many ways we can prevent and manage the symptoms of hearing loss to ensure they don’t spiral into other health conditions. Getting regular hearing checks at a hearing clinic is the best way to start proactively taking care of your ears and identify if you have any symptoms of hearing loss. There are also many preventative measures such as wearing protective hearing equipment if you work in a noisy environment, wearing ear plugs at a concert or keeping volume levels to a safe standard are all ways you can protect your ears and prevent hearing loss in the future. It’s important to raise awareness to the solutions available so every Australian is equipped to look after their ears” says Lauren McNee. 

Why is this important?

Unfortunately, 2 in 5 respondents (41%) say they think there is a negative stigma around hearing loss1. This may cause people to avoid getting the support they need to treat their hearing loss, even while this issue is prevalent across our society with the survey showing over three quarters (77%) of Australians know someone who is hard of hearing1. Listening to sounds up to 85 decibels for more than 8 hours can cause a hearing loss, or tinnitus which is experienced as a ringing in the ears that only you can hear, and the duration of time significantly reduces if the levels increase. Some festivals and concerts may be playing at levels far higher than this, which is alarming. 

Tinnitus affects about 15-20% of people3 and the most common cause is exposure to excessive noise, which damages the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. People of all ages can experience hearing loss, and it is important to be aware of how we can protect our ears and prevent further long-term damage to our hearing.

World Hearing Awareness Week is an important opportunity for Australians to reflect on the importance of taking care of their ears so they can continue to enjoy listening to the sounds they know and love.

Audika is encouraging all Australians over 26 to ‘Love Your Ears’ this week by visiting their closest clinic for a FREE hearing check. 

Book a FREE* hearing check


1The survey was commissioned by Audika Australia. An online survey was scripted and hosted by PureProfile, an independent research services provider. A nationally representative sample of n=1,005 Australians aged 18+ were selected via randomisation to participate by the research panel provider PureProfile. Fieldwork was conducted from the 9th of February to the 12th of February 2024.

2World Health Organisation, 2024.
3Al-Swiahb, J., & Park, S. N. (2016). Characterization of tinnitus in different age groups: A retrospective review. Noise & health, 18(83), 214–219.