Port Macquarie’s Raphael Chapman speaks out about hearing loss

Port Macquarie's Raphael Chapman says hearing loss sneaks up on you.
Port Macquarie's Raphael Chapman says hearing loss sneaks up on you.

Don’t delay a hearing test and consider advances in hearing aid technology which could improve your quality of life.

That’s the message from Port Macquarie’s Raphael Chapman.

“People need to really pay attention to how much hearing they may have lost and what they can do before it’s too late,” he said.

Mr Chapman says hearing loss sneaks up on you.

“You are not quite hearing what other people are hearing and that becomes obvious by people’s reactions,” he said.

“Then you become aware that people around you are making a compensatory effort.

“Family, friends and others start to talk loudly.”

A hearing test showed Mr Chapman had lost most of his top end hearing.

The tones in women’s voices were particularly hard to hear.

Mr Chapman was fitted with “older generation” hearing aids, which proved problematic.

“I gradually stopped using them and only put them in when I had to,” he said.

Then high-tech hearing aids made all the difference.

Advances in hearing aid technology have improved Mr Chapman’s quality of life.

Mr Chapman can control his environment thanks to the new hearing aids.

The hearing aids enable Mr Chapman to work at full capacity and ultimately to retire at a time of his choice.

“I’m a social worker and it’s a hearing profession,” he said.

“I have to not only hear what people are saying but understand what they’re saying.”

There are benefits at home too.

Watching television at Mr Chapman’s preferred volume is enjoyable thanks to a television box, while his wife can watch television at a volume which suits her.

The hearing aids also use bluetooth technology.

But Mr Chapman says his hearing aids are not a cure-all.

“It doesn’t give you back pristine hearing,” he said.

Hearing loss affects one in six Australians and that is due to increase with the ageing population.

Hearing loss is predicted to reach one in one Australians by 2050.


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