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World Hearing Day 2017

Friday March 3, 2017 is World Hearing Day. To encourage active management of hearing loss, Alpha Hearing is offering anyone over 30 years old a free full hearing assessment (normally $90) if you make an appointment on World Hearing Day. Call 9807 3007 to book an appointment at our Balwyn or Mount Waverley clinic.

If you can’t make it on this day, quote ‘World Hearing Day’ and receive a 50% discount on the $90 assessment fee if you see us before March 15th, 2017.

World Hearing Day is held every year on March 3rd. The day started in 2007 at the First International Conference on Prevention and Rehabilitation of Hearing Impairment in Beijing, China, with the aim of raising awareness and promoting ear and hearing care across the world. The event is organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Each year, a different theme is chosen to highlight different aspects of hearing loss. In 2016, the focus was on childhood hearing loss and drawing attention to the fact the majority of causes which leads to hearing loss in children can be prevented. In 2015, the theme was “Making listening safe”, which explored noised induced hearing due to recreational exposure. This was timely and desperately needed given how prevalent smart phones are around the world and the widespread use of these devices for entertainment.  Many users of these devices don’t realise how much damage listening to loud music can have on their hearing.

In 2017, the theme is ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment’. The aim this year is to draw attention to the economic impact of hearing loss and the cost effectiveness of addressing hearing loss. WHO estimate that unaddressed hearing loss cost $750 billion a year globally, this is equivalent to the combined annual health expenditure of Brazil and China or the GDP of the Netherlands. Quite frighteningly, they estimate the societal cost as a result of social isolation, communication difficulties and stigma to be more than half a trillion dollars!!!

To minimise this cost, WHO recommends that policy makers:

  • Allocate suitable resources to deal with hearing loss
  • Integrating ear and hearing care into the health system
  • Building human resource capacity
  • Implementing early identification and intervention programmes
  • Increasing awareness among all sectors of society

The benefits of treating hearing loss are immense, not just personally for the person with a hearing impairment, but the family and friends around them.  As a community, WHO asserts that interventions to address hearing loss will result in:

  • Financial savings and significant return on investment
  • Increased access to education
  • Greater employability and earnings which benefits the economy
  • Lower costs related to depression and cognitive decline and
  • A more integrated society.

From our experience, Australia has done an amazing job in addressing the above recommendations. Under the universal infant hearing screens across the state (i.e. Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP)), babies with hearing loss are detected at a very early age, allowing early intervention and thus the best chance of normal speech and language development. For pensioners and DVA gold card holders, the government’s Hearing Services Program is providing life changing services and assistance to those who suffer hearing loss. The flow on benefits from program such as these can be easily identified by the decrease average age of identification of hearing loss and the number of people who are successfully wearing hearing aids under the government program.

To do our part in promoting greater awareness of hearing loss in our society, Alpha Hearing is running this promotion to incentivise those who have difficulties hearing to take a step forward and seek professional advice. There are interventions available to address hearing loss that are effective and affordable. Come and get your hearing tested and explore with us the options that are available to help you.

To learn more about the World Hearing Day 2017,click here.

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