Neglected sense: 73% admit hearing falls behind sight in attention

Mackenzie Arnold, goalkeeper of the Matildas and Audika ambassador.

A new survey by Audika Hearing Clinic reveals that Australians prioritise their sight over hearing, despite most knowing someone who is hard of hearing. The survey found that 86% of respondents ranked sight as their most important sense, with hearing coming in second at 69%. Reflecting this prioritisation, nearly three-quarters (73%) admitted neglecting their hearing compared to their sight.

Reasons for neglect: Lack of understanding and stigma

The survey highlighted a significant lack of understanding and a stigma surrounding hearing loss. While 80% of respondents claimed to have “a little” understanding of hearing loss, over a quarter (27%) said they neglected their hearing because they didn’t know where to start. Furthermore, more than half (59%) of Australians believe there is a negative stigma surrounding hearing loss, a perception that is more pronounced among younger adults aged 18-24 (61%) and those aged 50-64 (64%).

Mackenzie Arnold, the goalkeeper of the Matildas and Audika ambassador, shared her personal experience with hearing loss, noting the stigma that prevented her from seeking treatment earlier.

“I was in denial that my hearing was ‘bad enough’ to get it checked because of the stigma around some of the ways you might address hearing loss. Since addressing my hearing loss, I have noticed a great change in the quality of my life.”

Mackenzie Arnold

Stigma by state

New South Wales respondents were the most likely to agree with the negative stigma around hearing loss (65%), followed by 58% in Queensland and Victoria, and 50% in Western Australia. Interestingly, Victorian respondents were most likely to know someone with hearing loss (79%), compared to 77% in New South Wales, 75% in Queensland, and 72% in Western Australia.

Hearing health and quality of life

Lauren McNee, audiologist at Audika, highlights the profound impact hearing can have on one’s engagement with the community, mental health, and overall emotional well-being.

“It impacts how confident we feel to engage in community, listen to loved ones, and feel a sense of belonging,” McNee said.

“It’s important to discuss hearing health, reduce the stigma around hearing loss, and promote hearing checks,” she added.

The survey also found that more than a quarter (27%) of respondents find hearing to be the most soothing of the five senses. In response to these findings, Audika is encouraging all Australians over 26 to prioritize their hearing by visiting their closest clinic for a free hearing check or taking the five-minute online hearing check at


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here