ROSE BAY resident Stephen Hodge has encouraged Australian seniors to get their hearing checked as it helped him enjoy life more and participate in the things he loved doing.
Mr Hodge, who is 67 years old, started having trouble with his hearing in the early 1970s while at the Royal Military College Duntroon.
“I fired an anti-tank weapon and the scope pushed my hearing protection off my head, and as a result, there was a large over pressure and I ended up having severe ringing in my ears for a few days,” Mr Hodge said.
“This led to consistent 24/7 ringing in my ears and the hearing, particularly in my right ear, deteriorated over the years.”
Mr Hodge said his difficulty with hearing caused a number of problems in everyday life.
“A significant aspect of poor hearing is continually having to ask people to repeat themselves – background noise was also very frustrating,” Stephen said.
“My hearing loss was around the range of female voices and children because they speak at a higher level than men do, so when they spoke, I could hardly hear them.”
Mr Hodge, who is now a volunteer tour guide at the Anglesea Barracks museum, was motivated to confront the hearing loss caused by his military career after not being able to communicate with his family and grandkids.
“About three or four years ago, the audiologist here in Tassie tried a different system to the standard hearing aid that I had been using,” Mr Hodge said.
“I wear a hearing aid in my left ear and a microphone in my right ear picks up sounds on that side and transmits it into the hearing aid on my left side, and I’ve found it to work really well.
“I’ve got three grandkids in Queensland and it means I can listen to them, which was particularly pleasing for me to be able to hear what they’re saying.
“It has also helped me socialise and made my volunteer work at the Anglesea Barracks much easier as I can now pick up the questions of the visitors and deliver a good brief.”
An estimated 3.6 million Australians are affected by hearing loss, with many Australian seniors being embarrassed or not thinking they have a hearing problem to have their hearing checked.
With grandparents playing a more active role in the lives of their children and grandchildren, it is essential for elder Australians, like Mr Hodge, to have their hearing checked.
“Technology these days is marvellous with what it can do, a lot of people can’t tell I have a hearing aid or microphone in my ear and you’re getting a much better standard of listening,” Mr Hodge said.
“I would very much encourage people if they have any doubt about their hearing to go and get it checked – it just makes life a lot more pleasant.”
For more information and to take a free online hearing check, visit https://www.hearing.com.au/.
Caption: From left, Stephen Hodge with his daughter in law Pia Hodge and son Sean Hodge, on the top of Mt Wellington.