LISTEN UP: CICADA Fraser Coast representative Judith Raxworthy urges all Fraser Coast residents who want to know more about cochlear implants to attend the group's April 6 meeting.
LISTEN UP: CICADA Fraser Coast representative Judith Raxworthy urges all Fraser Coast residents who want to know more about cochlear implants to attend the group's April 6 meeting. Contributed

Fraser Coast local breaking the silence for hearing impaired

HEARING loss sufferer Judith Raxworthy said Fraser Coast residents don't have to live in silence.

As the Fraser Coast representative for Cochlear Implant Club and Advisory Association Queensland, Mrs Raxworthy has encouraged those with hearing loss to reach out.

She said CICADA was holding a support group meeting on Saturday, April 6, where the hearing impaired and their family could ask CICADA representatives questions about the cochlear implant.

"Special guests from Brisbane will talk about their new booklet, Everything You Need to Know About Cochlear Implants, and will answer questions on all levels of hearing loss from personal perspectives," Mrs Raxworthy said.

"This session is a unique opportunity for people who may be considering an implant to talk to others who have been on the cochlear journey.

"Due to my own experiences with cochlear implants, I was aware others with implants and people who were thinking of having an implant, needed the support from people who have been there."

After being diagnosed with a hearing impairment more than 40 years ago, Mrs Raxworthy understands first hand how important a support network can be.

"It was quite a shock as there were no deaf or hearing-impaired people in my family," she said.

"I became a member of an organisation called Better Hearing Australia which supported hearing impaired adults.

"With their support I gained an understanding of my hearing loss and important coping strategies."

She said hearing loss indicators were often noticed by family members before the patient.

"There are many signs that indicate you may have a hearing loss, (such as) constantly accusing others of mumbling and not speaking clearly.

"Turning the TV up too loud and having others complain or having difficulty hearing phone conversations.

"Hearing loss is known as a social handicap as well as an invisible handicap."

The CICADA information session is held from 1.30pm on April 6 at Hervey Bay Library, 161 Old Maryborough Rd, Pialba.



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