New audiology service for Spearwood, Success

Kathleen Stoop. Photo: Jon Hewson. d492845 communitypix.com,au.
Kathleen Stoop. Photo: Jon Hewson. d492845 communitypix.com,au.

COCKBURN residents can find out if they have trouble with their hearing in as little as 15 minutes thanks to a new service.

Audiologist Kathleen Stoop said public health campaigns had made people more diligent about getting their eyes, skin and teeth checked, but that the same focus wasn’t put on hearing.

She said hearing problems weren’t just a product of old age.

“What we understand now is that most hearing loss is related to cumulative noise exposure over many years, a bit like sun exposure, or medical conditions such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease rather than simply being an unavoidable consequence of aging,” she said.

“We also understand that uncorrected hearing loss can have serious health consequences, including 29 per cent increased risk of falls, a 41 per cent higher risk of depression and a 52 per cent higher risk dementia.

“When we do a hearing assessment, we are evaluating the health of the ear and determining whether a person is able to detect all the sounds we should expect to hear.”

She added many people didn’t realise there was anything wrong with their hearing.

“In the early stages of hearing loss, the ear loses some fine-tuning ability, which makes it sound as though people are mumbling or makes it difficult to hear certain sounds clearly,” she said.

“People tend to think of hearing in absolute terms, so they think you are either deaf or you can hear, but they don’t recognise that hearing difficulties are often about not hearing clearly rather than not hearing at all.”

Mrs Stoop said she believed it was important for people to shop for their goods and services locally.

“Most importantly for me, it creates a sense of community and the opportunity to build relationships rather than simply conduct transactions,” she said.

“I think Cockburn has an incredible range of retail and health services that are easily accessible, reducing the need to travel and the stress of finding parking.”

The hearing tests can be done at Specsavers in Spearwood and Success.

Visit www.specsavers.com.au/hearing to book a test.