July 14, 2009:
Australians ignoring their hearing loss
More than half of the Australians who were diagnosed with hearing loss in phone tests have done nothing about it.
Australians have been able to test their hearing over the telephone. The test was offered by the Australian Hearing government agency, with the aim to encourage people with hearing problems to seek further testing and treatment.
A follow-up study by Australian Hearing among some of those tested made disappointing findings. More than half, 54 percent, of those who were diagnosed with hearing loss in the phone test have taken no further action.
The lack of action may be an indication that a large part of the population is in denial about hearing loss, according to Senator Joe Ludwig, Minister of Human Services and head of Australian Hearing.
350 people participated in the Australian Hearing study. All of them were found to have hearing loss in the phone test. 46 percent of them sought help following their phone diagnosis. Of those, about one in four received hearing aids.