Shared from the 5/2/2019 The Age Digital Edition eEdition

Tuning in for a better quality of life


People with hearing loss don’t have to miss a beat thanks to vastly improved technology.

When hearing loss is left untreated, it can significantly affect a person’s quality of life and result in social and health impacts beyond the initial impairment.

“People who suffer from hearing loss start to avoid social situations because it’s frustrating having to ask people to repeat themselves over and over again,” says Dr Moh Dadafarin, director and principal audiologist at Ear & Hearing Australia. “They stop enjoying listening to music and watching movies and television shows. Without realising it, untreated hearing loss can cause you to miss out on a lot.”

Noisy environments such as restaurants and bars are particularly difficult places for people with hearing loss.

“Dishes and cutlery clanging, as well as a lot of conversations happening at once can make listening and understanding almost impossible. Avoidance of social situations can eventually contribute to isolation and depression.”

Untreated hearing loss can also contribute to physiological problems including memory and cognitive decline, and auditory deprivation, a condition where the brain loses the ability to interpret words.

Significant advances in hearing loss fields mean more effective treatments are available. Many modern hearing aids are digital, wireless and so small they seem ‘invisible’. Newer hearing aid models allow users to hear from all directions in multiple sound environments.

Although treatment has evolved and research is ongoing, Dr Dadafarin says that many people who would benefit from wearing hearing aids don’t get them.

“I often hear people citing reasons like, ‘My hearing loss is not severe enough’, and ‘Hearing loss is not disruptive to my life’, even from those with very significant hearing loss,” he says. “

Loss develops over time and people can be unaware of just how much life they’re actually missing out on.”

Dr Dadafarin says hearing aids have significantly improved his patients’ relationships, social lives, physical and mental health.

“People who use hearing aids generally report noticeable improvements to their overall quality of life,” he says.

His patients can engage in conversation with family and friends, listen to music or watch television at a normal volume and feel comfortable going to public places that they may have previously deemed ‘too noisy’.

“You feel confident to be a part of the conversation again and to participate in your life.” Dr Dadafarin says the first step to addressing hearing loss is a hearing evaluation with a professional audiologist. Early diagnosis through a comprehensive hearing evaluation and prompt treatment are key to dealing with hearing loss and often result in the most successful outcomes, he says.

Ear & Hearing Australia was established in 1998 and is one of the largest independent hearing practices in Australia. The group has 14 clinics across Melbourne and a team of qualified audiologists with a minimum of master’s and doctorate degrees in audiology.

“We’re a premium audiology practice committed to providing personalised care, individual attention and exceptional aftercare service,’’ says Dr Dadafarin.

‘‘Being an independent practice and not affiliated with any one manufacturer, we provide unbiased advice and offer a range of the best hearing aid brands available.

“We understand the difficulties our clients face in everyday situations and are passionate about helping them break down the barriers to social participation and getting back to leading a full and happy life.”

‘We are passionate about helping break down the barriers to social participation.’

Dr Moh Dadafarin

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