As a senior audiologist with the Top End Health Service’s Hearing Services Outreach Program Salimon Joseph spends a lot of time visiting remote communities helping Aboriginal Territorians– and he loves it.
“I get to see my patients in their comfort zone,” Mr Joseph said of his trips to communities, where he undertakes hearing assessments for all the children who has been referred to the program.
For Hearing Awareness Week (1-7 March) and World Hearing Day (3 March), Mr Joseph wants to pass on to Territorians everywhere to look after their ears and their hearing.
Almost half (49 percent) of childhood hearing loss is preventable, as is over a third (37 percent) of adult hearing loss.
During his remote trips, Mr Joseph and the outreach team share ear disease prevention tips with parents, including ensuring children get their ears checked regularly; wash their face and hands and blow their nose frequently; have a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables; keep vaccinations up to date; avoid smoking around kids and ask parents and carers to teach kids not to stick anything in their ears.
You can have a hearing loss if you often ask people to repeat themselves; turn up the volume of the radio or television; have difficulty following conversations in noisy places; have difficulty in understanding what is said over the phone; have a problem in hearing sounds like an alarm or a telephone ringing and are told by people that you speak loudly or experience tinnitus.
NT Health runs the Hearing Health Program, an outreach Audiology and ENT Teleotology service that provide ear and hearing health care to Aboriginal children living in remote and regional communities with the aim to reduce ear disease and hearing loss.