WHO highlights the high global cost posed by unaddressed hearing loss
3 March 2017 ¦ GENEVA: On the occasion of World Hearing Day, 3 March 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) is drawing attention to hearing loss, its economic impact and the cost-effectiveness of interventions to address it. 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss; 32 million of them are children. Factors contributing to hearing loss include genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise and aging.
This year the theme of World Hearing Day is “Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment”. In a new report released today, Global costs of unaddressed hearing loss and cost-effectiveness of interventions, WHO estimates that lack of attention towards hearing loss poses an overall annual cost of 750 billion international dollars globally. The financial costs to the health sector alone are 67-107 billion international dollars every year.
Hearing loss can be addressed
In some settings strategies to prevent hearing loss are well-established, and the actions taken in those settings have resulted in financial savings and significant return on investment. The establishment of early intervention programmes is improving access to ear and hearing care services generally. Moreover, technology is available to detect hearing loss at the earliest stage of development. When their needs are met, people with hearing loss are better able to access education, learn skills and be employed.
WHO’s new report focuses on solutions for lowering the prevalence and mitigating the impact of hearing loss. It highlights cost-effective strategies, namely: prevention through early identification and treatment of ear infections and reduction of noise exposure;
early intervention programmes that help identify hearing loss through the screening of newborn and school-aged children and adults above 50 years of age; provision of appropriate hearing devices, accompanied with rehabilitation.
“Unaddressed hearing loss poses a great challenge not only for those who are affected by it, but also for their families, communities and countries,” says Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention. “Cost-effective interventions can reduce the impact of hearing loss and ensure that people with hearing loss have the same opportunities in life as their hearing peers. These interventions, which bring benefit to people and save costs to governments, should be replicated wherever there is a need.”
This report forms part of WHO’s advocacy efforts to promote global action on hearing loss.
If you or someone you know struggles with hearing loss, please take the first step and come into Luna Family Hearing for a free hearing test and complimentary consultation on treatment options. Call us today at 1-855-432-7669 in WA & OR or visit us at www.lunafamilyhearing.com to find a location near you.
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Your heart and ears have a lot in common. Love them both during American Heart Month.
People tend to take matters of the heart very seriously—and they tend to brush off hearing loss as inconsequential. But the truth is, your heart and ears have a lot more in common than most people realize.
In fact, decades of research point to a link between cardiovascular and hearing health.
Specifically, Raymond H. Hull, PhD, professor of communication sciences and disorders in audiology and neurosciences at Wichita State University, and Stacy R. Kerschen, AuD, conducted an analysis of 84 years of work from scientists worldwide on the link between cardiovascular health and the ability to hear and understand what others are saying. Their work, which reviewed 70 scientific studies, confirmed a direct link. The findings of their analysis also suggest that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease. “Our entire auditory system, especially the blood vessels of the inner ear, needs an oxygen-rich nutrient supply,” says Hull. “If it doesn’t get it due to cardiovascular health problems, then hearing can be affected.”
Other research suggests that hearing loss may be an early sign of cardiovascular disease in seemingly healthy middle-aged people, and even found that hearing loss is common in people in their forties.
David R. Friedland, MD, PhD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, went so far as to conclude from his study that patients with low-frequency hearing loss should be regarded as at risk for cardiovascular events, and appropriate referrals should be considered.
He explains the heart-hearing link like this:
“The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it is possible that abnormalities in the cardiovascular system could be noted here earlier than in other less sensitive parts of the body.”
Other experts find the evidence so compelling they say the ear may be a window to the heart and encourage collaboration among hearing care providers, cardiologists, and other healthcare professionals.
So, go ahead. For American Heart Month in February, take time to take a free hearing test at any of our Luna Family Hearing locations.
5 random things your heart and ears have in common
1. Someone with heart disease is at a higher risk of depression—and someone with unaddressed hearing loss is at a higher risk of depression. But BHI research shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and feel engaged in life.
2. Exercise is good for your heart—and exercise is good for your ears. One study found that a higher level of physical activity is associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.
3. Smoking hurts your heart—and it’s really bad for your ears too. Research shows that both smokers and passive smokers are more likely to suffer hearing loss.
4. Your heart and ears love omega-3 fatty acids. Research found that regular fish consumption and higher intake of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with a lower risk of hearing loss in women.
5. Obesity puts people at risk for heart disease—and it affects hearing function. A number of studies show a link between obesity and hearing loss. One looked at women (18 to 40 years old) and found a link. Another uncovered a connection between higher BMI and a larger waist circumference, and hearing loss in women.
To learn how today’s high-tech hearing aid technologies can help you in everyday situations, visit www.lunafamilyhearing.com/ReSoundLiNX or call us at 1-855-HEAR-NOW [1-855-432-7669].
[Posted from original content provided for use by Better Hearing Institute, January 26, 2017]
Bellevue, WA, November 10, 2016 –(PR.com)– Father and son, Lou and Win Whittaker featured in hearing loss awareness campaign.
In recognition of Luna Family Hearing’s annual Hear for the Holidays hearing loss awareness campaign, they wanted to share the story of a father and son supporting each others hearing loss and success with hearing aids from Luna Family Hearing.
Luna Family Hearing kicks off a Hear for the Holidays campaign for hearing loss awareness at all Luna Family Hearing locations throughout the Pacific Northwest each November and December to help families and friends as they gather for the Holiday season hear at their best by inviting anyone experiencing hearing difficulties to come in for a free hearing test.
Win Whittaker, mountaineer, adventurer and filmmaker, has had his hearing aid success story featured nationally. His father, Lou, observed Win’s success with hearing aids, which are smart phone compatible for control and accessibility of advanced features. On Win’s recommendation, Lou decided to do something about his own hearing difficulties and agreed to check out what Win describes as a “game changer in technology” offered at Luna Family Hearing.
Lou, a world-renowned mountaineer, adventurer, artist and author is constantly in challenging hearing environments and struggled to hear clearly before wearing hearing aids from Luna Family Hearing. Lou’s pursuing hearing aids to conquer his hearing difficulties on the recommendation of his son exemplifies what Luna Family Hearing’s annual Hear for the Holidays awareness campaign is all about – making sure you are hearing the best you can with your family and friends during the Holiday season and throughout the entire year. “At my age, to hear as good as I do is a miracle to me,” states Lou Whittaker.
This hearing loss awareness campaign is personal to John Luna, CEO of Luna Family Hearing. “I grew up with a father who had a hearing loss and know first hand what a positive change hearing aids can make with communication within a family for everyone involved especially during the Holidays with family and friends gathered together. If you or someone in your life is experiencing difficulty with their hearing, then encourage them to take the first step and get help. Lou and Win’s example and success with hearing aids, along with the thousands of other hearing impaired clients we serve in the Pacific Northwest, is exactly why we do what we do each day, to make positive changes in peoples lives helping them hear the best they can each day,” states John Luna.
The holidays are a perfect time to reconnect with friends and family.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure your hearing at your best. You deserve to hear every story and be part of every joyful moment. If you still find yourself struggling to hear, or your hearing instrument doesn’t work quite the way it used to, you could benefit from an appointment to see if there is something the staff at Luna Family Hearing can do to help you or your loved one hear better.
During our annual Hear for the Holidays awareness campaign your visit with our staff allows you to ask any questions you may have regarding hearing and hearing loss for you or for a family member, friend or colleague.
During this hearing loss awareness campaign Luna Family Hearing is offering free hearing testing at any of our 11 Pacific Northwest locations. Call us at 1-855-HEAR-NOW or visit www.lunafamilyhearing.com to learn more and find a location nearest to you.
When you hear better, you feel better. And, so do we.