Everyone loves a holiday, especially when it means a day off from work or school. But, some important days are celebrated differently. Take World Hearing Day, for example. This special day comes on March 3rd each year and is promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO). While it doesn’t mean time off from work or school responsibilities, it does mean raising awareness about hearing health, deafness, and hearing loss around the globe.
WHO’s key messages for World Hearing Day
year, the World
Health Organization determines a theme for World Hearing Day. This
year, it’s “Hearing for life. Don’t let hearing loss limit you.” Based on this
theme, WHO has determined four key messages to celebrate the day and raise
- Healthy hearing promotes good
communication. Every healthy relationship has its roots in great
communication. This includes non-verbal cues such as body language, spoken
words, and, of course, the reception of them. Hearing impairments can
negatively affect relationships if they are left untreated. Learning more about
loss and relationships is a great way for people to understand
the important role that hearing plays in this aspect of our lives. This brings
us to the next key message.
- Early detection and treatment of hearing
loss is important. In addition to helping with communication,
hearing is important for normal development in children. Speech and language
development, for example, is closely related to auditory cues interpreted by
the brain. With these cues missing or skewed by a hearing impairment, a child
may exhibit speech and language delays. When hearing loss is correctly
identified and treated early, however, these negative effects can be minimized.
As the child grows older, adapting
the school environment is possible and doing so makes their
educational success more likely.
The same idea can be applied to hearing loss that is
diagnosed in adulthood. When detected and treated early, this can prevent
people with hearing loss from having feelings of social isolation, cognitive
decline, or difficulty in the workplace.
- Hearing loss interventions worldwide are lacking. Hearing impairments are certainly not just an American problem. In fact, worldwide hearing loss statistics reported by WHO are staggering: approximately one-third of the entire world’s population over the age of 65 has disabling hearing loss! While many Americans with hearing loss cope with the use of hearing aids, assistive listening devices, medical or surgical treatments, and more, such interventions are not all available worldwide. Continued efforts are needed to raise awareness of the need for hearing health care around the globe, especially in underserved areas such as third world countries.
- Our health system should support hearing
loss treatment. The hearing treatment options listed above can
be expensive. Hearing aids, for example, can cost thousands of dollars. This
can be especially troublesome for retired individuals living on a fixed income.
insurance cover hearing aids or other hearing health care?
The answer is not simple. It depends on an individual’s plan as well as the
insurance company itself. National hearing organizations continue to lobby for
additional insurance coverage so that individuals with hearing loss can get the
treatment they so desperately need.
Hearing health care all year long
national or worldwide awareness days are great for championing a cause, it’s
important to remember this topic all year long. Hearing health plays a vital
role in each of our lives and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regular hearing
testing and check-ups by a hearing professional are critical for early
detection and treatment of hearing changes. Is it time for YOUR hearing
your audiologist to schedule an appointment today! They’ll be
glad to “hear” from you!
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Source: Hear Well-Live Well Blog