Brett Lee launches ‘Hearing Awareness Week’ at Cochlear










Cricketer Brett Lee  at the beakfast

Brett urges people with hearing difficulties not to live in silence

More than 100 Cochlearâ„¢ implant recipients joined cricketing legend Brett Lee, Cochlear’s Global Hearing Ambassador, at Cochlear’s global headquarters at Macquarie University for a special breakfast to celebrate Hearing Awareness Week (August 21 ”“ 27) on Monday 22 August. The event also recognised the contribution of valued Cochlear implant research volunteers.

Brett is urging the community to take action on hearing loss and to get their hearing checked.

“I can’t imagine cricket without sound: on the field not hearing the appeals and the crowd, off the field not hearing team mates, or at home not hearing family,” Brett says.

“That’s why a cochlear implant is so important. It can change all of that. I’ve seen it happen. When people are ”˜switched on’ for the first time, when they suddenly hear sound, you can see their sheer joy at being able to hear life. It is a wonderful, life changing moment.”

In Australia, 3.5 million people are deaf or have a hearing loss. While solutions such as hearing aids and Cochlear Implants enhance a person’s ability to communicate, 85% of people with hearing loss don’t use these devices. One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss and this figure is projected to increase to 1 in every 4 Australians by 2050*.

“Hearing Awareness Week is important because it gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of hearing loss and remind people to take care of their ears and get regular hearing health checks,” says Brett. “Just as we get our eyes, skin and teeth checked, we should also get our hearing checked.”

What are the signs?

There are numerous everyday signs that hearing loss may be causing problems. A Cochlear Newspoll survey of over 1,000 people aged 18+ found that of those who have a hearing impairment:

  • 67% find themselves always turning up the volume on the TV, with another 16 per cent admitting they put the subtitles on when watching TV.
  • 44% believe they ”˜miss out’ because of their hearing.
  • 36% avoid social situations that will be in a crowded room.
  • 15% say they avoid talking on the telephone.
  • 14% will sit near the speakers at public performances.

People living with hearing loss can struggle with everyday activities we easily take for granted, such as hearing in crowded places, listening to the TV or enjoying music, communicating with friends and family, keeping up at work and using the phone.

“Don’t be complacent: that’s the message from Australia’s hearing health professionals, who are urging people to book a hearing test during Hearing Awareness Week,” adds Brett.

People can visit where they can access online hearing loss checklists and information to find out if they, or their loved one, might be experiencing hearing loss. They can also use the website to find their nearest hearing health professional.

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