Hearing Matters

Over two years ago, I wrote a piece on this blog about hearing loss. I’ve raised it once or twice in speeches and in the Senate since then, but it’s still an issue which doesn’t have a particularly high public profile, despite the very large numbers of being affected – estimated to currently be about one in six Australians, rising to about one in four by 2050.

My blog post led – no doubt through the beauty of Google – to me being interviewed for Radio National’s Life Matters program on the topic as part of a segment on hearing loss through exposure to loud noise, music, headphones use and the like. That segment was broadcast today. You can listen to the interview or download it through this link.

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  1. Haven’t listened to your interview ,know its a problem,and the way Australian Science is being treated by the ALP. we will only have the John Howard Electorate manufacturer response.I know a deaf person,who well,bothers me a bit.I am sure most deaf persons attempt varying degrees of reasoning.I am sure I seem to have a hearing problem to some[as of aging,little do they know],sometimes,but,I am acutely aware of that as it seems somewhat overstated,once understanding how… flows of sound can be distorted in varying backgrounds,and, how familarity plays an important process in identifying statements in noisy circumstances.The potato shed has noise ,dust,and quick ,not always well instructed statements.Another problem that may not be identified is, turning off, hearing,and then some assuming this cannot be entirely possible.But seeing how, a bus driver,who is fit and healthy and older than me,turns off the shrilling,unless it seems specific and trouble-making,it could be.. many people are being mis-diagnosed,by those who will make people waste their money on hearing tests.

  2. I think parents will just continue to let their kids do whatever they want, even if it makes them deaf or gets them killed.

    If you walk down the street “wired for sound”, you are not as aware of your surroundings. This makes you more vulnerable to traffic accidents, and if a disaster occurs, your reaction time will be greater.

    If you can never hear your parents calling you, they’re going to become pretty hostile as well.

    When my eldest son kept trying to deafen himself with earphones which I could hear from one end of the house to the other, I warned him several times.

    When he continued to ignore me, I threw the offending equipment (given to him by an uncle) straight out over the back rail. End of problem – and my second son, who received the same gift, never followed suit.

    I would like to see legislation brought in to limit the volume of rock concerts and entertainment at clubs. Under the current circumstances, those of us who value our hearing stay away.

    I suppose I should approach the management of the Leagues Club and tell them I will sue them for adult abuse. I can hear high pitched sounds well out of the normal human hearing range, and that kind of assault is not appreciated at all.

  3. Its interesting how high the statstics are. The other thing that is interesting is that it shows what availability of information does to the public perception (or lack there of) — I believe there’s a shortage of audiologists (I seem to remember them thinking about striking a few months ago in Melbourne over pay and conditions also), but you never hear the slightest thing about it — but its obviously is or is going to be a problem for a lot of people. It also seems completely unlikely this problem will be solved, as I think that at least in Victoria, the only place you can train to become one is at Melbourne (and its a Masters course too — so the intake is small).

  4. Conrad:

    I’m sure people who work in audiology, particularly in the Commonwealth Hearing Centres, are overworked.

    In nursing homes, hearing aids get showered by nurses along with their owners and then they don’t work until they’ve dried out. Some get destroyed, and some are inadvertantly disposed of.

    We have a large ageing population in need of hearing services. My mother waited several months for a new set of hearing aids when she needed new moulds made. Ear size apparently changes over time.

    Then one brand new hearing aid “disappeared” from the nursing home within 5 days of its arrival, never to be seen again.

    Now her spectacles are gone as well, along with miscellaneous other items. Someone also broke the band on her new watch in their rush to get it off.

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