Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - HEALTH FOR YOUR EARS -

RUN­NING this week, Hear­ing Aware­ness Week aims to high­light the is­sues faced by peo­ple with hear­ing loss.

Hear­ing Awar­ness Week or­gan­is­ers The Deaf­ness Fo­rum of Aus­tralia said one in six Aus­tralians were af­fected by hear­ing loss, with this fig­ure pro­jected to in­crease to one in ev­ery four Aus­tralians by 2050 due to long-term ex­po­sure to ex­ces­sive noise in the work­place, the en­vi­ron­ment and an age­ing pop­u­la­tion.

It also said in­dige­nous hear­ing health was a mas­sive pub­lic health prob­lem in re­mote parts of Aus­tralia.

Hear­ing Aware­ness Week looks to elim­i­nate the stigma, iso­la­tion, lack of work op­por­tu­ni­ties and as­so­ci­ated health is­sues to im­prove the over­all qual­ity of life for peo­ple with deaf­ness or hear­ing im­pair­ment.

“One of the main con­se­quences of hear­ing loss is a re­duced ca­pac­ity to com­mu­ni­cate,” Deaf­ness Fo­rum of Aus­tralia CEO Steve Wil­liamson said.

“This can have a big im­pact on a per­son’s life chances through the re­duced op­por­tu­nity to get a good ed­u­ca­tion, to gain com­pet­i­tive skills and em­ploy­ment and can put quite a strain on re­la­tion­ships.

“We need Aus­tralians to un­der­stand the var­i­ous de­grees of hear­ing loss and ear and bal­ance dis­or­ders and how to com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively with peo­ple who are deaf or hear­ing im­paired.”

Hear­ing Aware­ness Week will see a range of pro­mo­tional ac­tiv­i­ties hap­pen across the coun­try, in­clud­ing ‘silent’ sports events, pub­lic ex­hi­bi­tions on hear­ing tech­nolo­gies, and hear­ing safety train­ing by em­ploy­ers to alert peo­ple to the is­sues.

Visit www.hearingaware­ness­week. org.au.

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