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"For 10 years my hearing health had a negative impact on my relationships. Getting hearing help and accessing amazing hearing aid technology has transformed my connection to the people who matter most in my life,” says Osher Günsberg.

Television, radio and podcast host, author and Connect Hearing ambassador, Osher Günsberg

From his work on Channel [V] and Australian Idol in the early 2000s to his current roles hosting The Bachelor Franchise and smash-hit show The Masked-Singer, Osher Günsberg is one of Australia’s most recognisable media personalities.
 
Beyond his work in television and radio, Osher connects with Australians and people around the world daily, through his podcasts and social media to share stories about life, love and his physical and mental wellbeing journey, including the challenges of living with hearing loss.
 
Osher has partnered with Connect Hearing to share his personal experience with hearing health in the hope that other Australians with hearing loss will take action so they can continue to connect with loved ones.

Osher Günsberg and hearing loss

For Osher, permanent nerve damage and hearing loss began after spending his late teens working as a roadie, and continued to decline through his career in the music industry. He first noticed the problem in his late 20s, when listening to music in the car.
 
“When I was in the car listening to music, I always put the stereo on level 14. One day I suddenly realised that the stereo was on 18 and it still wasn’t loud enough. That was the first moment I knew something was really wrong," says Osher. 
 
As Osher’s hearing worsened, so too did his desire to participate in social activities, like going to dinner with friends.
 
“Before I got my hearing aids, I didn’t know why I was not feeling great about spending time with friends and family. It was because I would ultimately end up just sitting at a restaurant and not hear what anyone was saying. I would feel isolated, and wouldn't get involved in conversations,” says Osher.

​“I used to avoid talking on the phone, I would send calls to voicemail or ask people to send me a text instead,” says Osher. 

The effect of hearing loss was like sandpaper in Osher’s relationships   

After 10 years living with impaired hearing, it was the impact on his relationship with his wife and step-daughter that prompted Osher to finally take action and seek help.
 
“I had been living alone, so no one had to know that I had the TV on as loud as I did, or that I watched it with subtitles. No one had to know that I would always take phone calls using headphones because I could make it louder, or how loud I had my car stereo. It was only when I moved in with my wife Audrey and Georgia, her daughter, that I realised the effect of all those years of loud music,” says Osher. 
 
“Every time they would speak to me my answer would be ‘what? Huh?’. It was frustrating for them to communicate with me, and I would become annoyed too. It was beginning to change our dynamic and relationship as a family,” says Osher. 
 
Similar to Osher’s experience, the Connect And Be Heard Report found that home was the most important place for Australians to be heard. 
 
For six out of ten, the most important topic for them to be heard on is their feelings, followed by their health (38 per cent), love and relationships (37 per cent) and more practical conversations about managing the home (25 per cent). 

The appointment and expert care that changed Osher’s relationships

“I’m the classic case, even though I knew I needed hearing aids, I didn’t get them. It was once I moved in with Audrey that I knew I had to get help, and it was life-changing once I did,” says Osher. 
 
Osher says the best thing about Connect Hearing clinicians is that they will work with each individual client to find the best solution for their hearing loss, based on their lifestyle, personal preferences and budget.
 
“The Connect Hearing team fitted me with hearing aids which sit behind my ear and can be taken off when I need to wear an earpiece for my TV work. There are invisible solutions available, where the hearing aid sits inside the ear canal, but these weren’t going to work for me because I need to easily take them off at work,” says Osher. 
 
Osher’s hearing aids are rechargeable and adjust to quieten background noise and improve the clarity of voices, which helps him stay connected to the people he loves. 
 
“When I started wearing hearing aids, it was intense, because all of a sudden, I was like wow, I can now go out for dinner, and if someone is sitting on the opposite side of the table, I can actually hear what they are telling me. 
 
“I can hear people say hello when I’m down the street, and most importantly, I can connect with the people I love,” says Osher.   

Osher’s advice for all Australians  
 
Osher says that discussions about all aspects of health should be approached with empathy, kindness and patience. No one chooses for their health to decline, and just as eye health may require support and intervention to improve quality of life, so too may hearing health. 
 
“As a community, we need to be talking more about incorporating regular hearing checks into our routine health check-ups,” says Osher.
 
The most important thing is to protect your ears and get your hearing checked regularly. After all, it’s free and only takes 15 minutes in clinic or you can take the first step towards better hearing with the free online Speech Perception Test.

 

Want to hear more from Osher? You can follow Osher Günsberg on: 
 
Facebook: @oshergunsberglive
Instagram: @osher_gunsberg
Twitter: @oshergunsberg
Podcasts: Better Than Yesterday, Dadpod 

Our team are here to help.

Book in for a free, 15-minute initial hearing check at Connect Hearing by calling 1800 693 277, or find your local clinic here.
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