Hearing Loss Awareness Leaflet
The Ear Foundation marked Deaf Awareness Week 2015 (6th - 12 May) by launching a pilot scheme in Nottingham, targeting the over 50s suffering from hearing loss.
The campaign "Deaf Awareness in a Technological Age" is being introduced to encourage older adults in the UK with hearing loss to seek help which can significantly improve their quality of life. Campaign leaflets emphasising how easy it is to get help will be widely distributed through GP surgeries and Pharmacies where people are being asked to look out for them. The main thrust of the campaign is to encourage these people to visit their GP and ask to be referred to an audiologist.
On average there is a 10 year delay in people seeking help for hearing loss. Eliminating this delay is important, as people with mild hearing loss have nearly double the risk of developing dementia and this risk increases significantly for those with moderate and severe hearing loss. Hearing loss can also double the risk of depression in older people and those with severe and profound hearing loss are four times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.
Deafness is a hidden disability that does not always receive the attention it deserves. An estimated 41 % of people over 50 are likely to have a hearing loss, a figure which grows to 70% for the over 70s. And the number of deaf adults in the UK is increasing with an ageing population with more than 14.5 million estimated by 2031.
Sue Archbold, Chief Executive of The Ear Foundation explains: "These statistics are important as they highlight the huge and unseen impact on individuals and society. We live in the most exciting times for hearing technologies, which offer more opportunities than ever before, yet the promise is all too often not realised. The hearing technologies we have today can revolutionise the lives of deaf people, if they are given access to them and helped to use them effectively.
" Today's digital hearing aids can be easily programmed for different needs and doesn't need to be a barrier to using today's technologies. If someone is totally deaf, they can benefit from a cochlear implant and bone-anchored hearing aids have huge potential. For milder hearing loss, listening devices such as Bluetooth or FM systems can help to improve everyday life. Most importantly, the sooner someone gets a hearing aid or implant, the more effective it will be."