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Hearing loss – early detection is key

Hearing Australia is embarking on a nationwide tour, Hearing the Nation, aimed at raising awareness, including free 15-minute hearing checks visiting 1,000 locations, making it easier than ever to prioritise your hearing health.

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Key points

  • World Hearing Day serves as a reminder to prioritise hearing health, with easy access to hearing checks being crucial for timely detection.
  • Rob Kneale’s story underscores the benefits of early intervention, highlighting the need to be proactive about hearing health.
Hearing the Nation

Think about your favourite sounds. Maybe it’s the sound of waves, of birds singing, cats purring, children laughing, or the pitter-patter of rain. Or maybe it’s listening to your favourite song. Hearing can provide great pleasure. So, imagine what life would be like if you could no longer hear the sounds you love.

Beyond our favourite sounds, hearing also supports greater connection to the world around us. It gives us the chance to learn better, communicate effectively with loved ones, and engage fully in life’s experiences.

But in a world where sounds and communication are so integral to our daily lives, rates of hearing loss are rapidly increasing. Greater awareness and early intervention is key.

World Hearing Day  

World Hearing Day on 3 March is a timely reminder to stop and think about your hearing health. And with the number of Australians experiencing hearing loss forecast to double to 7.8 million by 2061, it’s a message worth listening to. 

Research shows that only 56% of Australians have had a hearing test in their lifetime, compared with 87% who have had an eye test.

For those interested in getting their hearing checked out, access to a hearing check is the next step. This year’s World Hearing Day theme, “Changing mindsets: Let’s make ear and hearing care a reality for all!”, highlights the importance of providing access to hearing services for anyone, wherever they may be.

“Getting your hearing checked is a painless, quick and easy process that could have life-changing impacts,” says Hearing Australia Managing Director, Kim Terrell.

“We know accessing medical check-ups can sometimes be a challenge, so we are holding more than 1,000 free hearing check events all across the country in March – making it easier than ever to look after your hearing health.”

Early detection

Hearing loss can be quite gradual and subtle in nature. Easy access to hearing checks means issues can be picked up early. And early detection allows individuals to take proactive steps towards managing their hearing loss and staying connected to the world around them. 

“Recognising the early signs of hearing loss and getting a hearing check are critical steps in safeguarding your hearing health”, says Karen Hirschausen, Principal Audiologist Commercial Clinical Services at Hearing Australia. 

Signs of hearing loss

Common signs of hearing loss include asking others to repeat themselves frequently, difficulty in hearing conversations amidst background noise, and needing to increase the volume on the TV, radio, or phone. Tinnitus is also a possible sign of hearing loss but it’s not always likely to be persistent. 

Being vigilant and proactive about your hearing health can reduce the impact of hearing loss and help provide a better quality of life.

Rob’s story

Rob Kneale’s journey to better hearing highlights the subtle nature of hearing loss and the benefits of early intervention.

At 71, Rob Kneale attributed changes in his hearing to the natural course of ageing. He found bustling environments like restaurants particularly challenging. But Rob didn’t link his difficulty in hearing the TV and navigating noisy settings with potential hearing loss. 

One day while reading his library’s newsletter, he noticed Hearing Australia was providing free 15-minute hearing checks at the library – so he did one. The check revealed hearing loss in both ears. This led to a referral with an audiologist at the local hearing centre along with a comprehensive assessment which outlined the options available. 

“I realised it was going to help me, so I was looking forward to getting hearing aids. Nevertheless, I was unsure how I would go wearing hearing aids. But they’re comfortable, and I’m not conscious of wearing them. I have a favourite setting for the TV and I also find the restaurant setting is very good. I can fine tune the hearing aids depending on the situation.  

“Hearing loss is a gradual thing that you’re not consciously aware of, but [after the check] I am now fully aware of the level of my hearing loss,” shared Rob.

As part of World Hearing Day, Hearing Australia is offering free* 15-minute hearing checks at 1,000 locations across Australia.

Visit to register for your nearest event.  

1 (Updated 15 Dec 23)

*Only 15-minute hearing checks are free. Conditions apply under the Australian Government Hearing Services Program. 

Disclaimer: This content includes sponsored advertising which helps fund our important advocacy work. Please note that the information provided and opinions expressed in this advertising material are solely those of the advertiser. We encourage you to carefully evaluate and consider any advertised offering before making a purchase. Any transactions or interactions between you and the advertiser are solely between you and the advertiser.

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