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Loneliness and loss of confidence are among the often-unheard side effects of hearing loss

Photo: Test first step to combat hearing loss
Victorians are being urged to get their hearing checked in a community awareness campaign highlighting links to loneliness.

In Victoria, up to half of all adults could be affected and risk isolation and relationship breakdowns, warn experts.

It's not a fear campaign, but rather a way to promote the importance of regular hearing checks.

Robert Briggs is the medical director at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital's Cochlear Implant Clinic and said people hard of hearing often struggle on the phone, withdraw socially or have to ask ask speakers to repeat themselves.

"Left untreated, hearing loss can impact a person's ability to connect, stay healthy and be productive, particularly as they get older," he said.

"We encourage anyone with hearing difficulty to have a test to confirm the severity of any hearing loss."
Research shows about 60 per cent of adults haven't had a hearing test in the past two years.

Tuesday's campaign launch coincides with the opening of the South Eastern Cochlear Care Centre in Dandenong, which will treat hearing loss in the hope of improving people's lives.

Pakenham resident Roger Platt, one of the centre's first cochlear implant recipients, said he had been able to tune back into life after tackling his hearing loss.

"I would shy away from conversations and avoid noisy environments ... I'm now sharper in my mind, I'm comprehending, processing better and feel more alert," he said.

Hearing Australia chief financial officer Nick Fitzgerald said there were a range of solutions available to improve hearing.

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