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Disability, Medical Health Aged Care

NEGLECTED SENSE: 73% ADMIT HEARING FALLS BEHIND SIGHT IN ATTENTION

Audika 4 mins read

A new survey commissioned by hearing care experts Audika Hearing Clinic reveals surveyed Australians prioritise their sight over hearing, despite over three quarters (77%) knowing someone who is hard of hearing. Most (86%) respondents ranked sight as their most important sense, with hearing coming in second (69%)[1]. Unsurprisingly, this is reflected in which sense they care for more, with almost three quarters (73%) of respondents admitting that between hearing and sight, their hearing was the most neglected[1] 

Reasons for neglect: Lack of understanding and stigma 

Both stigma and a lack of understanding can impact the way Australians prioritise their senses. Interestingly, while most respondents (80%)[1] claim to have ‘a little’ understanding of hearing loss[1], more than a quarter (27%) also said they neglected their hearing because they didn’t understand and know where to start[1] 

More than half of Australian respondents (59%) think there is a negative stigma surrounding hearing loss[1], this increased among respondents aged 18-24 (61%)[7] and 50-64 (64%)[8]. While this declined slightly among those surveyed aged 65+ (55%)[2], 4 in 10 (41%)[2] of senior respondents think there is a negative stigma surrounding hearing aids.  

No stranger to the stigma of hearing loss, Mackenzie Arnold, goalkeeper of the Matildas and Audika ambassador, has recently discussed her experience with hearing loss, admitting there was a stigma around the avenues for addressing hearing loss that, as a child, prevented her from seeking treatment.  

“I was in denial that my hearing was ‘bad enough’ to get it checked, because there was a stigma around some of the ways you might address hearing loss.   

“Despite my brother having hearing loss since childhood, I convinced myself mine was not bad enough until early last year, and he was my biggest driver in seeking help. Since addressing my hearing loss, I have noticed a great change in the quality of my life, and I want to inspire others to feel comfortable to get their hearing checked earlier,” Arnold says.  

Stigma by state  

When it comes to negative stigma surrounding hearing loss, New South Wales respondents were the most inclined to agree with 65%[3], compared to 58%[4,5] in Queensland and Victoria, and 50%[6] in Western Australia^.  

Victorian respondents were most likely to know someone with probable hearing loss, with almost 8 in 10 (79%) claiming to know someone who is hard of hearing[5]. 7 in 10 (72%) Western Australian[6] respondents know someone who is hard of hearing, increasing to three quarters (75%) in Queensland4 and over three quarters (77%) in New South Wales[3] 

The negative stigma associated with hearing loss alongside the number of respondents who know someone who is hard of hearing found in this survey, suggests there may be many Australians not prioritising their hearing health. 

Encouraging all Australians across the country to prioritise their hearing is the first step towards reducing the stigma and improving understanding of hearing loss and how to treat it.  

Hearing health and quality of life 

Lauren McNee, experienced clinician, and audiologist at Audika Hearing Clinic, says hearing can profoundly impact the way we engage with community, alongside senses such as sight and touch.   

“It impacts how confident we feel to engage in community, listen to loved ones, and feel a sense of belonging. While it is often an overlooked health issue, it is one that can greatly impact mental health and emotional wellbeing. 

“Whether it’s your own hearing or the hearing of a loved one, it’s important to discuss hearing health, reduce the stigma around hearing loss, and promote hearing checks,” says McNee. 

Hearing health can significantly contribute to quality of life given its crucial role in most interpersonal interactions. It can also be a source of comfort and soothing, with more than a quarter of the (27%) respondents saying hearing was the sense they found the most soothing and comforting of the five senses (taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing)[1] 

Audika Hearing Clinic is encouraging all Australians over 26 to ‘Love Your Ears’ by visiting their closest clinic for a FREE hearing check or take the five-minute online hearing check via www.audika.com.au. 

 

^Sample sizes for Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia were not large enough for statistically significant results 

About the research:  

[1] The survey was commissioned by Audika Australia. An online survey was scripted and hosted by PureProfile, an independent research services provider. A nationally representative sample of n=1,005 Australians aged 18+ were selected via randomisation to participate by the research panel provider PureProfile. Fieldwork was conducted from the 9th of February to the 12th of February 2024. 

[2] All stats pertaining to 65+ featured a sample size of n=219 segmented from the national representative sample. 

[3] All stats pertaining to New South Wales featured a sample size of n=320 segmented from the national representative sample.  

[4] All stats pertaining to Queensland featured a sample size of n=203 segmented from the national representative sample.  

[5] All stats pertaining to Victoria featured a sample size of n=261 segmented from the national representative sample.  

[6] All stats pertaining to Western Australia featured a sample size of n=106 segmented from the national representative sample.  

[7] All stats pertaining to 18–24-year-olds featured a sample size of n=90 segmented from the national representative sample.  

[8] All stats pertaining to 50-64-year-olds featured a sample size of n=237 segmented from the national representative sample.  


Key Facts:
  • 59% of respondents believe negative stigma surrounds hearing loss. 

  • 80% responded that they have ‘a little’ understanding of hearing loss. 

  • Sight tops the charts but hearing close behind: survey shows 69% rank hearing as a crucial sense. 

  • 73% of respondents admit to neglecting hearing. 

  • More than 1 in 4 (27%) of respondents say hearing is their most soothing sense. 


About us:

About Audika 

500 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. It is Audika’s ambition to help more people hear better. Healthy hearing may contribute to a higher quality of life, and people deserve to reach their full hearing potential. These ambitions are what the hearing care experts at Audika work for every day.  

Audika offers high quality hearing expertise and care at more than 300 Clinics across Australia, supporting every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe. Audika is part of the Demant Group, a global group covering all areas of hearing healthcare for over 110 years. 

Please visit www.audika.com.au for more information. 


Contact details:

audika@edelman.com

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