Because most members of MAG are approaching the twilight years, we are interested in
those aspects of medicine, including diet and alternative therapies, which can enable us to maintain our health and
fitness. Also, being gay men, we are interested in the medical aspects of
the prevention of HIV-AIDS in our day to day lives and prevention of the spread of
HIV-AIDS throughout the community. We are particularly interested in
current treatments for persons with HIV-AIDS.
ACON gay men's education strategy
ACON Vitamin Service
Anyone prodded your prostate lately? - Dokta Who
Arthritis Needs Exercise - Dokta Who
Couch potatoes, orgasms and diabetes - Dokta Who
Deaf as a post - Dokta Who
Gonorrhoea - The hidden epidemic of gay men
Hepatitis A is on the rise
Stop. Revive. Survive. - Dokta Who
Viagra - some pitfalls
Vitality and Pleasure
Deaf as a post
I spotted the two guys together, smiling and cruising a quiet corner of the bar.
Two great guys, people that lots of you know well, two mature guys I've seen get stiff as a post.
I walked over to join the fun. I could hear their conversation from 10 feet away. They weren't talking, they were
shouting. Stiff as a post, sure, but just as deaf.
- People over 50 are likely to lose some hearing each year.
- About one-third of people over 65 have hearing problems.
- Only one in five of the Australians who need a hearing aid has one.
I thought carefully about what I'd seen in the bar: the first guy had turned his head to one side as
the other spoke. When the other guy went quiet, he in turn had put his side to one side so he could hear the
first guy's response. That's a classic sign of hearing loss.
As I began to write this article, I also thought about what I had not seen in the quiet bar: there was
only a handful of mature age guys present. Many of the guys who might have been there were perhaps home
listening to television.
Two more classic signs: people with impaired hearing avoid social situations where noise can make
it difficult to hear conversation; they also turn TV up to a volume that disturbs others.
Another significant sign is asking other people to repeat what they've said, or to 'speak up'.
The year-by-year loss of hearing that starts around age 50 for most people is often due to changes in the
inner ear, the location of two of the body's most delicate structures: the organ of hearing called the cochlea,
and the labyrinth of nerves that controls our sense of balance. Just as hair turns grey at different ages and at
different rates, so it goes with this condition, which is called Presbycusis.
Inner eye damage can also arrive suddenly: high blood pressure can be a cause, so can poor blood circulation;
even a routine illness may cause problems, and so can some medications. If you've had a stroke or a head injury,
that also might be your problem.
Hearing problems also come from fluid in the middle ear or a middle ear infection. And of course you do use
sterile cotton buds regularly to clear the built-up wax from the ear canal!
Be very sensible about all this: the federally-funded organisation called Australian Hearing is a great place
to get started. Their Web site is www.hearing.com.au. If you want to
assess your hearing, the site includes a Hearing Health Check. Tick Yes or No to eight questions and submit
the form. An assessment will flash back quickly.
Remember that you can get free access to the Web at any public library - the staff are trained and willing to help.
Any GP can do a basic hearing check and explain the options. Aged pensioners are well cared for by
Australian Hearing. Under the federal benefits scheme, for example, the batteries you need for a hearing aid
cost only $31.50 a year. Even if you live alone, even if you no longer go to the movies, surely you'll always
want to hear the birds singing in the trees?