On World Hearing Day 2020, the WHO are highlighting how timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential, drawing attention to the options available to make this possible.
World Hearing Day Message
BIHIMA welcomes the campaign with its focus on the encouraging message that, at all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to our communities, and the world. This is a positive, life-affirming approach which chimes with BIHIMA’s own mission – to raise awareness of the benefits of hearing well.
The WHO have also focused their campaign on the importance of early testing and intervention as a proven way for maintaining good quality of life. Their message is that “appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.”
The importance of early intervention
Delay in diagnoses can also lead to people not having the same benefits from hearing instruments and rehabilitation as those who act promptly. The older a person is, the harder it can be to adapt to new ways of listening and communication. Hearing loss can also lead to an increased risk of dementia and depression, which is another important reason for early intervention.
Indeed, the most recent Eurotrak report 2018 showed that 71% of all hearing device owners in the UK wished they had got their hearing devices sooner! The main reasons they cited were improved social life, better mental and emotional health, increased performance at work and improved energy levels. There is clearly a huge amount of potential for good quality of life for people with hearing loss if they have the appropriate help and technology.
The delay in uptake of hearing technology is also evidenced in the same data which shows that still in the UK, over half of all people who claim to suffer from hearing loss (52.4%) do not use hearing devices to help with their condition.
Support for World Hearing Day
BIHIMA thoroughly welcomes this campaign from the WHO and the ongoing work of other hearing loss charities which are helping to turn around these statistics, transforming ‘a glass half empty’ message into a positive picture of the potential of hearing well throughout life.