Our hearing is 'worst'
GYMPIE has the highest percentage of men with hearing loss, according to findings by Australia's largest independent hearing care organisation, National Hearing Care.
Gympie audiologist Bethany Gair, from National Hearing Care in Monkland St, said yesterday the latest figures showed that of those screened for hearing loss at the Gympie clinic in 2011, men in Gympie had the highest percentage of hearing loss compared with all 25 National Hearing Care clinics in Queensland, including Bundaberg, Townsville and Toowoomba.
"We also saw a slightly higher percentage of men with hearing loss than women, even though there were fewer men tested compared to women," she said.
Ms Gair says one in six Australians had a hearing loss. The rate for men is even higher due to factors such as noise in the workplace and war service.
"Men are least likely to take the initiative for a test - it's usually their partners who get sick of nagging them and drag them in to get checked," she said.
"Since hearing loss is gradual and subtle, many people don't even realise they're losing their hearing and tend to blame the other person with phrases like 'stop mumbling!' and 'you never told me that'."
Ms Gair said "the real number of people suffering hearing loss in Gympie may never be known because many people live with the symptoms before seeking relief with the help of a device.
"The average time between noticing a hearing loss and acting on it is seven years.
"What people don't realise is times have changed and hearing devices are now incredibly small and comfortable."