LIFE IMPROVEMENT: Port Stephens woman Mariann, with husband Ray, is supporting the campaign as a cochlear implant patient.
LIFE IMPROVEMENT: Port Stephens woman Mariann, with husband Ray, is supporting the campaign as a cochlear implant patient. BENCOOK.COM

Can you listen to this?

HEARING experts and local community groups have joined forces for a public health campaign aimed at encouraging Central Coast residents to prioritise their hearing health.

A recent survey of 300 people on the Coast showed that 83 per cent of those surveyed thought that hearing loss could affect relationships with friends and family but only four in 10 have had a hearing test in the past two years.

The findings have spurred health experts and local community groups to join forces to start the campaign called "Implant Yourself Back into Life".

The campaign by Cochlear and the SCIC Cochlear Implant Program - a Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children service - aims to help Gosford and the Central Coast's older residents take a simple online hearing aid check.

Medical director of the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre and 2017 NSW Woman of the Year Associate Professor Cathy Birman said hearing loss was not an inevitable part of ageing and could be treated successfully.

"Hearing is an often-forgotten sense that can be lost slowly over many years, which is why staying on top of any hearing loss with regular hearing tests is absolutely vital," she said.

"Improved hearing can often give people a new lease on life as they re-engage with friends and family and become part of the conversation once again."

Residents in Gosford and the Central Coast can take part in a new online check to show if their hearing aids are enough.

The Hearing Aid Check (available at hearing aidcheck.com/au) takes just 10-15 minutes and can be completed on a home computer, tablet or mobile phone.

Each user receives personalised results and recommendations, including if they should speak to a health professional about their hearing.

The YouGov Galaxy research surveyed 300 adults in Gosford, CentralCoast and Port Stephens, aged 18 years and older in March.

Following the completion of the interviews, the data wasweighted by age, gender and location to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.

According to ABS data, about one in four residents in Gosford and Port Stephens are seniors (65 years or older).


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