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What is World Hearing Day?
In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of hearing protection and hearing loss treatment, the World Health Organization (WHO) has organized World Hearing Day. Beginning back in 2007 at an international hearing conference in Beijing, China; World Hearing Day occurs March 3rd of every year. March 3rd was cleverly chosen as the date for World Hearing Day because the date, 3/3 resembles two ears.
Every year for World Hearing Day, the World Health Organization emphasizes a specific theme in regards to hearing health. This year, the focus is on the incredible importance of early identification and treatment of hearing loss, in both children and adults alike.
The 2019 World Hearing Day theme is simple and direct, “Check Your Hearing”!
Why World Hearing Day?
The World Health Organization understands the importance of hearing health. Currently there are 466 million people living with disabling hearing loss across the globe. This number includes 36 million children. While this number is staggering, it is only set to increase. In fact, WHO estimates that over a billion young people (aged 12-35) are at risk of developing hearing loss due to their excessively loud leisure activities. The overall number of people with disabling hearing loss is estimated to reach about 900 million by 2050. If this prediction becomes a reality, this will mean that an astonishing one tenth of the world population will be living with disabling hearing loss in about 30 years.
Although hearing loss is a very prevalent issue affecting millions of people of all ages across the world, many do not fully understand the importance of identification and treatment of hearing loss. In fact, on average Americans wait about seven years from the time they notice changes in their hearing to the time they seek treatment from a hearing healthcare professional. Even more shocking than the average wait time is the fact that only about 20% of people who could receive benefit from hearing aids actually use them – despite the many incredible benefits of treating hearing loss.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
Regardless of one’s age, there are incredible benefits to choosing to treat hearing loss. We outline some of the most important reasons for each age group below.
Infants and Babies
It is imperative that infants and babies be tested for and treated for hearing loss as early as possible. As infants and young babies, a vast majority of our cognitive learning comes from listening to the adults around us. This is also when the most formative parts of our brains responsible for speech are developed.
Young & School Aged Children
If young children with hearing loss receive treatment before they enter kindergarten, they are expected to develop on pace with their peers without hearing loss in both academic and social arenas. When hearing loss is let untreated, however, this is not the case. Untreated hearing loss in children can lead to lower reading and writing abilities, as well as less social tenacity.
Teenagers and Young Adults
The benefits for treating hearing loss for teenagers and young adults is that it will greatly improve one’s earning potential and workplace productivity. Treating hearing loss also helps to improve romantic relationships that are very important at this stage of life.
All Other Adults
The benefits for treating hearing loss for all adults are incredible. Treating hearing loss improves our moods, social lives, earning potential, relationships and cognitive ability. Treating hearing loss has also been shown to decrease risk of social isolation, depression, dementia, and falls resulting in serious injury.
This World Hearing Day, Get Your Hearing Tested!
If you have noticed some of the early signs of hearing loss or are simply curious about your hearing abilities, there is no better time than now to schedule your first hearing exam. The earlier you seek an assessment, the earlier you can begin treatment and the earlier you can reap the many benefits. Contact us at Elite Hearing to schedule a hearing assessment in honor of World Hearing Day!