A report commissioned by the National Foundation for the Deaf estimated 880,350 people in New Zealand (18.9 per cent) suffered from some form of hearing loss last year with the total cost of hearing loss reaching $4.9 billion. Within that, the cost to the economy was estimated at $957.3m.
The report, Listen Hear! New Zealand: Social and Economic Costs of Hearing Loss in New Zealand, put the cost to the health system at $131.8m and productivity losses at $552.4m with informal care, efficiency losses and other costs making up the remaining component of the economic costs.
At the local level Audiologist Jeanie Morrison-Low from Kāpiti Hearing says it is very important for people who have any hearing issues to get checked.
Ms Morrison-Low has seen demand grow significantly at their Raumati and Waikanae Clinics and recently announced the expansion of the Waikanae clinic, at 9A Ngaio Road.
“At present, this room is being used for ear wax microsuction services, every Tuesday and Thursday, 9.30am to 1.00pm. Registered nurse Amy Wasley will be there to gently remove wax blockages the most common cause of impaired hearing. Beetles and other debris may also be removed.”
Ms Morrison-Low says ear was issues are very common.
“Ear wax is there for a purpose; it is strongly antibacterial and helps kill fungus and trap dust. Usually, it will migrate outwards naturally, and dissolve in water when you have a shower or wash your hair, or if you go swimming. However, some people produce it at a rate that is faster than it can migrate out of your ears, and it can then block up the ear canal so that you don’t hear so well. You can make the blockage worse by pushing it back in with cotton buds. If that happens, you can ring Kāpiti Hearing on 04-293-4693 and make an appointment to see Amy, and have the wax removed safely.