RONALD Hopkins’ life changed for the better when he had a hearing aid fitted more than 30 years ago.
It meant the Auburn resident was able to communicate properly with his grandchildren and, more importantly, his wife Flo.
In fact, Mr Hopkins said his wife was the catalyst for making him go and get a hearing test all those years ago.
“The wife was actually the reason why I got my first hearing test,” Mr Hopkins, 86, said.
“When you can’t understand why the wife is having trouble communicating and being frustrated with me, that’s when I realised I may have lost hearing.”
With Hearing Awareness Week in full swing, Mr Hopkins wanted younger generations to realise that once hearing was lost, it never came back.
Mr Hopkins also encouraged fellow seniors to get their hearing tested.
“It creeps up on you so slowly that you don’t realise it until you’ve lost it,” he said.
Mr Hopkins said he lost his hearing from a combination of working in a loud factory and the natural ageing process.
Since his first test, the great-grandfather of three has seen technology advance, with the newer aids all being digital.
“One of my first hearing aids used to be attached to my glasses,” he said.
“They’ve come a long way since then.”
* Australian Hearing Parramatta manager Katie Gamble said hearing loss was a prevalent issue, with 60 per cent of Australians over 60 suffering from some form of hearing loss.
* She said younger generations needed to be careful with their MP3 players. Even if the volume is low, listening to music with headphones for an extended period can still damage hearing.
* One in six Australians currently suffers from hearing loss. This is expected to rise to one in four by 2050.
* Australian Hearing is a government-funded company that offers free services for people under 26, indigenous people and seniors.
* Details: 131 797 or visit hearing.com.au.