Leading UK charity Action on Hearing Loss is marking World Hearing Day (March 3) by encouraging people across the UK who are concerned about their hearing to take action. World Hearing Day is an initiative by the World Health Organisation, which this year is drawing attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss.
Recent statistics released by MED-EL shows that people in the UK are the least likely to have their hearing checked in the world, with 46% having never had their hearing checked compared to 11% in Russia. Action on Hearing Loss has a wealth of information about how people in the UK can get the right support for hearing conditions and wants to encourage anyone who thinks they – or a family member – might have hearing loss to contact their GP and take the first step.
With a new report by Hear-it AISBL stating that ‘untreated’ and ‘disabling’ hearing loss is costing the UK £25.5billion per year, and with an ageing population, Action on Hearing Loss says that it is more vital than ever for people to get their hearing checked.
There are currently around 11 million (one in six of the population) people in the UK with some level of hearing loss, a figure set to increase to 15.6 million (one in five) by 2035.
Dr. Roger Wicks, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Action on Hearing Loss, said: “We absolutely support the World Health Organisation’s emphasis on early intervention this year on World Hearing Day. There is a wealth of evidence of the negative effects of people delaying getting their hearing checked, from the economic costs highlighted in the new study by Hear-it AISBL to a known increased risk of social isolation, mental health problems and an increased risk of dementia.
“On the other hand, we hear all the time from people who get their hearing aids and are given a whole new lease of life and feel newly connected with their family and surroundings. We are often told what an effect hearing birds again, or the voices of their loved ones, has on their wellbeing. Research also strongly suggests that many of the problems associated with untreated hearing loss can be eliminated by wearing hearing aids.”
For information about how to get your hearing checked in the UK, please visit: https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/hearing-health/hearing-loss-and-deafness/diagnosing-hearing-loss-and-deafness/