Hearing Awareness Week

March 1, 2022

Hearing Awareness Week is the first week of March, with World Hearing Day on 3 March.

Hearing loss is Australia’s second most common disability. Almost four million Australians have some form of hearing loss, and this will grow as our population ages.

The most common causes of hearing loss are age-related and excessive exposure to loud noise. Close to 60% of young Australian workers aged 15-24 are exposed to loud noise in their workplace. It’s important to always protect your hearing by using earplugs or earmuffs and give your ears rest from noise.


First signs of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty hearing in noisy places and hearing conversations
  • Difficulty understanding people, especially if they are wearing a mask or not facing you
  • Often needing to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Hearing muffled sounds, as though people are mumbling
  • Turning the TV up louder than other people
  • Missing your phone/doorbell ringing
  • Constant buzzing or ringing in your ears
  • Increased discomfort with loud noises.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, book in to see your doctor. They can undertake an initial examination using an otoscope to check the outer and middle portions of the ear. They can rule-out or manage other issues that may affect hearing, such as build-up of ear wax or ear infection. They can also refer you to an audiologist to measure the extent of hearing loss and explore options for ongoing management.

Don’t ignore hearing loss!

Untreated hearing loss is linked to a range of more severe conditions including depression, anxiety and dementia. Studies have shown that hearing loss can significantly increase the risk of developing dementia – the greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk.


For most people, hearing loss cannot be reversed, but there are treatments that can help improve or correct your hearing. Options for management may include:

  • wearing hearing aids
  • getting cochlear implants, and/or
  • surgery.

There have been considerable advances in hearing aid technology over the past five years. The earlier people start using hearing aids, the more likely they are to continue using them and to get the most benefit from them.

Check the Australian Government’s hearing services program to see if you are eligible for subsidised hearing services and devices.