Listen up for hearing loss

COMPASSIONATE: New Lambton audiologist Katrina Skirka was amazed at the stoicism of the locals during her recent trip to Vietnam with the Starkey Foundation.

Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age, anywhere, and the impact, if undiagnosed and untreated, can be devastating.

It’s a reality Katrina Skirka, senior audiologist at ihear New Lambton knows all too well, having just returned from a trip to Vietnam as part of an international health initiative called the Starkey Foundation, where she did over500 sets of ear impressions in five days.

“It made me more able to appreciate the services we have in and try not to take our healthcare system for granted,” Ms Skirkasaid.

Untreated hearing loss can lead tooverall cognitive decline including clouded memory and recall and has beenlinked to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Productivity at work can be effected impedingcareer progression and consequent earning power. It can also affectrelationships with others, often causing frustration andstrain resulting in the person with hearing losswithdrawing from socialising, which is then a majorrisk factor for social isolation, depression and other mental health issues.

“It can be frustrating for family and friends when they have to ‘be the ears’ of a loved one with untreated hearing loss, or repeat themselves frequently,” said Ms Skirka, who has over 25 years experience in the hearing healthcare industry.

“In families or friendships who are separated geographically, maintaining communications can be even harder if the individual with hearing loss is shying away from the phone, Skype or other ways of communicating.”

Telltale signs of hearing loss include:

Do I often ask people to repeat themselves?Do I have trouble following conversations with more than two people?Do I have difficulty hearing what is said unless I’m facing the speaker?Does it sound like other people are mumbling or slurring their words?Do I struggle to hear in crowded places like restaurants, malls and meeting rooms?Do I have a hard time hearing women or children?Do I prefer the TV or radio volume louder than others?Do I experience ringing or buzzing in my ears?There are several common causes of hearing loss.

“The main ones include excessive noise, infections, genetics, birth defects, infections of the head or ear, ageing, and reaction to drugs or cancer treatment,” Ms Skirka said.

Research on people with hearing loss and their significant others has shown that hearing aids play a significant factor in a person’s social, emotional, psychological and physical well-being.

Treatment of hearing loss has been shown to improve:

Communication in relationshipsIntimacy and warmth in family relationshipsEase in communicationEarning powerSense of control over your lifeSocial participationEmotional stabilityihear is a national company with sites across NSW (including Maitland and Morisset), Queensland, South and WA.

Services include:

Complimentary hearing screeningTrials of the latest hearing aidsFree hearing aids and services for pensioners and veteransHearing aid repairs and batteriesPaediatric Hearing Tests (children over 3 years of age)Noise Protection and swim plugsDiagnostic Hearing AssessmentsWorkcover hearing assessments and hearing aid fittings“We treat all sorts of people –pensioners, veterans, private clients, Workcover clients, children over three years of age,” Ms Skirka said. “Pensioners and veterans can be fitted with free hearing aids every five years.

“Private patients may be eligible to claim back a portion of the cost of their hearing instrument(s) from their private health fund.

“For children, if referred by a GP/ENT they can claim back a portion of their paid invoice from Medicare.”

If you suspect you’re suffering hearing loss, youshould make an appointment with an audiologist, audiometrist or Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.

For more information, ringihear New Lambton on 02 4956 3825, email [email protected]老域名出售.au or visit www.ihear老域名出售.au.

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