Hearing loss hurts more than just the individuals afflicted, it flows on to their families and friends. There is also a large effect on the Australian economy, with research showing that hearing loss costs the nation $33.3 billions every year. That’s $15 billion in real money and $17 billion in lost wellbeing for individuals.

Merlin and Adrienne

Australian Lions Hearing Dogs procures, trains and places Hearing Assistance Dogs with deaf or hard of hearing people all around Australia. We are the only Australian organisation accredited by Assistance Dogs International to carry out such work. 

Hearing Loss in Australia

The report Still Waiting To Be Heard that sprung from the 2010 Australia Federal Government Senate Inquiry into Hearing Health in Australia – Hear Us, states that in 2010, 3.6 Million Australians suffered  from some form of hearing loss. Factors that are impacting this growth include our aging population, noise-induced hearing loss (either recreational or work-related), occupational-induced hearing loss (which can include a combination of noise and exposure to certain chemcials and behaviors in younger people that are likely to escalate their hearing loss later in life.

 Living with Hearing Loss

Hearing and quality of life are closely linked. Poor hearing affects both the person with hearing loss, and those they communicate with. Effects of untreated and unaided hearing loss on adults impacts on social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being. 

Typically, people with hearing impairment can experience:

  • Embarrassment
  • Loss of confidence
  • Irritability and anger
  • Depression
  • Feelings of being ignored
  • Dependence on others
  • Withdrawal, isolation and loneliness
  • Exclusion from family and social activities
  • Exhaustion

Other people, such as family members and close friends, may find themselves:

  • Talking for the other person
  • Continually having to explain or interpret
  • Sacrificing some activities (e.g. theatre, parties)
  • Making assumptions about what a hard of hearing person thinks or needs
  • Frustrated
  • Exhausted
  • Embarrassed in company
All of which can contribute to strains on relationships.
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