Press Release

 

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A campaign to tackle acquired hearing loss in adults was launched today (14th Aeptember 2015) by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

PRESS RELEASE
Adult hearing loss a major health issue
Posted: 14th September 2015

A campaign to tackle acquired hearing loss in adults was launched today by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. The aim of the “Mind your Hearing” campaign is to raise awareness of acquired hearing loss and to encourage people to get their hearing tested earlier and, if necessary, to obtain hearing aids.

One in every six people in Ireland has some level of hearing loss. As people get older their hearing deteriorates so that by the age of 60, one person in three will have a ‘significant disabling hearing loss’.

Speaking at the launch the Minister said “less than one third of adults with hearing loss have a hearing aid. Loss of hearing can be gradual, sometimes barely noticeable. This means that people tend to wait around ten years to address their hearing loss, and lose out on the benefits of early treatment. That’s why the ‘Mind Your Hearing’ campaign is so welcome, and will encourage people to take action earlier. It may also highlight other conditions caused by hearing loss such as depression and isolation.”

According to Professor Sabina Brennan, Director of NEIL Memory Research Unit in Trinity College, “hearing loss leads to loneliness and social isolation which are actually as bad for your health as smoking and obesity. However by addressing your hearing loss and staying socially engaged you can maintain your brain function and may even reduce your risk for developing dementia.”

Brendan Lennon, Project Manager of the Mind Your Hearing Campaign said “on average people wait ten years from the time they realise they have a hearing loss until they do something about it. Two thirds of people in Ireland who need hearing aids do not have them. As well as greatly affecting their ability to function in their daily lives, it also has a significant impact on their health and well being.”

“Research has shown that people with a hearing loss have more than 30% faster rates of cognitive decline and much higher rates of dementia than their hearing peers,” he said.

At today’s event, the Minister officially launched a video, which includes the personal experiences of a number of people with a hearing loss together with a brochure giving information and advice to people on how to check their hearing. A website giving advice to people concerned about hearing loss also went live today and can be visited at www.mindyourhearing.ie

The campaign is being organised by DeafHear and Hearing Loss Ireland in association with the Irish Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists (ISHAA) and the HSE.

Media Contacts

Mind Your Hearing will provide spokespersons to comment on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on request.
For further information please contact Fergus Lynch on 087 2569111 or email Fergus by clicking here...