When 54 year old Runaway Bay local Susan Alessi was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, she had no idea the long term side effects would be the deterioration of her hearing.

“I’m very blessed to be here today, but life isn’t what it was like before the cancer because I am living with hearing loss, largely due to the intense chemotherapy and radiation therapy,” says Susan.

“Since then, I’ve known that my hearing wasn’t good but I have been trying to make do. I have to always ask people to repeat themselves, I work in reception at a medical practice and have to turn the phones up, the TV is a lot louder than it should be and my kids give me a hard time for not hearing what they are saying.”

Being a Specsavers customer and previously an employee, Susan heard through her old colleagues that Specsavers Runaway Bay is making history this week as the first Specsavers store in Australia to launch audiology to its customers. The news will revolutionise the audiology industry for Australian customers, offering hearing aids and care at prices never seen before.

“I’m here today to have my hearing tested. I want to be able to have conversations with my friends and family again. I want to be able to engage in a conversation without always apologising and asking the person to repeat what they said. I want to feel normal again,” she says. 

Specsavers Audiology Runaway Bay’s new owner and audiologist, Andrew Fraser is encouraging all Runaway Bay locals who might have concerns about their hearing, to book a quick and free 15 minute check. 

“At the moment it takes most Australians 7-10 years to acknowledge they have hearing loss before they do anything to help it – if they do anything at all. During these years, I have personally seen so many cases where the individual becomes embarrassed at having difficulty joining in on conversations, so they back away from social engagement and start to become isolated. As we all know, social isolation and a lack of independence can lead to a whole range of both mental and physical conditions, especially if the individual is older,” he says.

One in six Australians experience hearing loss, yet only one in three does anything about it*. On top of this, new Specsavers research** has shown that over half of Australians (57%), 18 years and over, have experienced moments where they felt concerned about their hearing.

Specsavers’ General Manager of its newly created audiology business, Darrel Magna says the new audiology offering is giving Australians exceptional value in hearing aids and care as well as the expert service that the Specsavers brand has become well-known for.

“By offering audiology, we’re providing truly accessible health care for our customers’ ears as well as their eyes. The earlier we detect and treat hearing loss, the less of an impact the problem will have on a person’s hearing long term. 

“All customers at Specsavers Runaway Bay will now have a free five minute hearing screen included as part of their overall eye health test in store. We don’t want Australians to have to wait 7-10 years to do something about their hearing challenges, especially if it means they can’t live their lives to the full,” he said.

If you feel like your hearing isn’t as good as it should be, Specsavers Audiology Runaway Bay is taking bookings for free 15 minute hearing checks from today. If further testing is required, comprehensive hearing assessments are being offered for $49. If you require hearing assistance as a result, Specsavers Audiology Runaway Bay has a range of hearing aids designed and built by leading manufacturers, which feature cutting-edge innovations in hearing assistance. A pair of hearing aids at Specsavers Audiology Runaway Bay starts at $1495.

Specsavers Audiology Runaway Bay is accredited as a qualified hearing service provider by the Australian Government Hearing Services Program which provides eligible people with access to hearing services such as hearing assessments, subsidised hearing aids and aftercare services. If you think you might be eligible, you can apply for the Australian Government Hearing Services Program online or via post