For Cambridge Gardens resident Marilyn Parsons, losing her hearing was an isolating experience.
From being unable to properly contribute to conversations, to not having the ability to enjoy simple things like watching a movie like she used to.
For over 15 years she struggled with depleting hearing loss, causing her to retract from the people she loved and the experiences she enjoyed.
At around 50-years-old when she went back to university to study Philosophy, she found it near impossible to keep up without being able to hear what professors were saying during lectures.
This was the final push for her to book an appointment with Hearing Australia, which she has never looked back from.
“I’d speak to my grandchildren and they couldn’t understand what grandma was saying; they thought I was crazy,” Ms Parsons said.
“When they first put the hearing aids in I realised just how deaf I was.
“It has given me a complete new lease on life.”
Ms Parsons is now happy, living a full life surrounded by family and supported by a team of hearing professionals, who have helped to make her life much more comfortable.
She says she has never felt so engaged with the world.
“Suddenly I could hear the sounds I grew up with that I had almost forgotten about, simple things, like birds singing or the neighbours’ children laughing,” she said.
According to the Hearing Care Industry Association around 3.6 million Australians suffer from hearing loss but shockingly only one in five who could benefit from a hearing aid actually use one.
Many of those who suffer experience embarrassment or are reluctant to seek assistance.
Ms Parsons had simple advice for those who may be hesitant to get checked: do it.
“If children ask me what’s in my ears I just tell them it’s so I can hear what they’re thinking; just have fun with it,” she said.
Hearing Australia Audiologist Robyn Russell, who assessed and supported Ms Parsons throughout her hearing journey, said the best part about her job is seeing how much it changes people’s lives.
“We take the time to understand the specific needs and challenges of each person who comes to see us,” she said.
“We do our best to offer the right solution to meet their needs.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.