MORE men in the Fraser Coast need to be screened for hearing loss, according to a study completed by National Hearing Care.
The study found that more women in the region had signed up to be screened for hearing tests, though many men were likely to suffer from undiagnosed hearing loss.
NHC Hervey Bay audiologist SriGowrie Shamprakash said the latest figures showed fewer men were participating in hearing tests, though many needed it more.
"We also saw a slightly higher percentage of men with hearing loss than women, even though there were fewer men tested than women," she said.
Ms Shamprakash said one in six Australians was suffering from hearing loss, and the rate was even higher for men due to factors like workplace noise and serving in the war.
"Men are least likely to take the initiative for a test," she said.
"Since hearing loss is gradual and subtle many people don't even realise they're losing their hearing and tend blame other people for mishearing things."
The best way for men to check their hearing was to book in for a hearing test, Ms Shamprakash said.
"The average time between noticing hearing loss and acting on it is seven years," she said.
"People really shouldn't wait that long either to have their hearing assessed.
"You've got nothing to lose, and a life of sound to regain."
Several factors affected hearing loss, according to Australian Counselling Association national manager Philip Armstrong who said some hearing loss was a natural part of ageing, though some other factors affected hearing loss.
"People who have experienced repeat ear infections, diabetes, high blood pressure or are smokers are more likely to have hearing problems," Mr Armstrong said.
"Losing your hearing can be frustrating as well, so it's better to have your ears checked to ensure your hearing is at its best."
Tips to protect your ears
- Avoid all types of loud noises. Sounds over 85 decibels can be a cause of hearing loss.
- Don't probe your ear canal. Never force any objects into your ear canal, always clean the outer level of the ear.
- Wear earplugs for swimming. Water can damage the ear and cause infections.
- Eat healthy. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals will help your overall wellbeing as well as your ear health.
- Visit your doctor. It is important to have your hearing checked when you visit your doctor.