It's reported that Australians spend more time watching television than they do on the internet, according to a Roy Morgan study1 – a whopping 18 hours per week on average!
As hearing loss affects one in seven Australians alone2, more and more TV shows and films are helping to bring auditory conditions onto the big screen in the form of hearing impaired characters, thus linking the two together. Here are five examples you might have seen.
Australians spend more time watching television than they do on the internet.
Out of the reported cases of hearing loss in Australia, 37 per cent are due to over-exposure to loud noises2. In the film, Music Within, we see Richard Pimentel sent to Vietnam in the US Army, but returns home with a hearing impairment after experiencing severely loud noises in his time away.
Based loosely on true events, the film showcases how Pimentel becomes an ambassador and voice for the disability rights movement after realising that those living with conditions shouldn't be judged or seen as less capable.
Award-winning American TV show Heroes captivated audiences worldwide for four years and followed a group of ordinary people living with super-human capabilities. Season four brought Dr. Emma Coolidge to our screens – the first hearing impaired character to appear on the show.
Although Emma cannot hear sounds, she does however see them as colourful light waves which she then manipulates using emotion, to become an integral part of the group. She helps to portray that her condition doesn't make her any less capable and is something to be proud of.
Playing competitive sport requires hard work, determination and raw talent, regardless of hearing capabilities, as the film The Hammer proves. Based on the real life story of Matt Hamill, the 2010 movie follows an up and coming, hearing impaired wrestler on his journey to the top.
Matt doesn't let his auditory abilities get in his way of success, instead he uses his condition as a strength and becomes the first deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Championship – serving as a true inspiration for the hearing impaired.
Tinnitus is a condition that 70 per cent of the entire Australian population aged between 18 and 34 have experienced at least once in their lifetime3 and one that Baby, star of 'Baby Driver', experiences daily.
The 2017 blockbuster follows Baby – a talented, young getaway driver who is never without music. Baby experiences regular ringing in his ears, a common sign of tinnitus, and uses music to drown out the internal noises in his ears. This is a familiar treatment adopted by many people living with tinnitus as it helps to distract the brain and focus on other things – whether that be getaway driving or not!
The film Immortal Beloved showcases the life of one of the world's most famous and influencing composers of all time – Ludwig van Beethoven. After his death, Beethoven's assistant Schindler works to discover the identity of the 'immortal beloved' – a woman mentioned in the German composer's will and private papers.
It also focuses on Beethoven's gradual hearing loss, a condition which affected his personal life as well as the music he made. When he could hear all frequencies, Beethoven used a range of higher notes in his works, whereas when his hearing became worse, he used lower notes that he could hear more clearly.
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1Roy Morgan, Australians still spend more time watching TV than using the internet at home. Accessed September 2017
2Deloitte Access Economics, HCIA Report, THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COST OF HEARING LOSS IN AUSTRALIA. Accessed September 2017
3Hear it, 70 percent of young Australians experiencing tinnitus. Accessed September 2017