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Hearing problems

Just because you have heard one bird sing, doesn’t mean you have heard them all. For the same reason, a hearing problem is never just a hearing problem, it may be a loss in the quality of life. If you have  of hearing problems, we recommend booking an appointment.

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Hearing problem prevalence

When people struggle to understand speech or hear certain sounds, we call it a 
hearing problemHearing problems are not uncommon in Australia, in fact, it affects one in six of us1.

As many as 64% of people over the age of 60, suffer from some form of hearing loss1. For people over 70 years, this increase to 3 in 4 people1As stated by Roland Eavery, hearing loss is so prevalent that it has become the norm2.


Helpful hearing information

Understanding hearing problems

What to look out for

Hearing is one of our most important senses, yet many people who are facing its decline deny the inevitable truth. The signs of hearing problems are usually vague and develop gradually. On average it takes us over 7 years3 to actually get around to doing something about hearing problems. In that time, we tend to become used to "putting up with it".  

Common warning signs of hearing problems

  • You may find it hard to understand people in noisy environments like in a restaurant.

  • You find that you feel exhausted after a day of socialising.

  • Attending social events may result in frustration.

  • Asking people to repeat themselves or hearing words incorrectly.

  • Difficulty hearing soft or distant speech, needing to watch someone's lips closely to follow what is being said.

  • Turning up the volume on the television and radio.

  • Unable to hear sounds around you like phones ringing, doorbells and alarm signals.

Degree of hearing problems

Hearing problems can occur at any time, however it is more prominent with increasing age. Hearing Problems may affect the understanding of speech due to changes in the ability to hear certain frequencies as well as the clarity of speech, as this may often sound muffled or unclear. 

The degree of hearing problems can be classified as either:

  • icon-mild


    Speech may not be as clear, soft speech may be difficult to hear in noisy environments and the volume may be turned up on the TV.

  • icon-moderate


    Speech may sound a bit unclear or soft sounds may be missed. The volume may be turned up on the TV or radio.

  • icon-severe


    You may ask people to constantly repeat themselves in a higher tone, may miss most soft and environmental sounds such as rain drops and birds chirping.

  • icon-profound


    May only be able to hear loud vibrations mostly from low frequency sounds and hearing may be difficult even with amplification.

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1HCIA, The social and economic cost of hearing loss in Australia. 2018, Access Economics

2Eavery, R. 'MTV Survey cranks up the volume on loud music's impact on hearing', Vanderbilt University Medical Centre 2019. 

3’Listen Hear! The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia’ 2006, Access Economics