March 3, 2020 – Ottawa, ON, – Today, on World Hearing Day, the World Health Organization will highlight that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential. The theme for this year is “Don’t let hearing loss limit you. Hearing for Life!”
The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 466 million people are living with hearing loss globally, a number that is expected to grow to 900 million by 2050. More than 1 billion young people (12-35) are at risk for hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sound. In Canada, over 1.3 million or 5% of Canadians aged 15 years and over have some form of a hearing disability. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition in older adults, after arthritis and heart disease.
The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association recognizes the alarming increase of hearing loss globally and in our communities. Hearing loss is on the rise. In the last decade, the number of people living with hearing loss has been steadily increasing. The sooner a hearing loss is detected, the better the outcome for the person with the loss. Hearing loss can occur at any age and hearing screening plays a vital role to ensure that patients can avoid communication roadblocks and potentially have a better quality of life.
Christopher T. Sutton, National Executive Director of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association says, “as a person who has lived with a profound hearing loss my whole life, I know first-hand the impact hearing loss. Hearing loss impacts people in many ways. It impacts on a person’s ability to communicate, socialize, learn, work and enjoy life. Hearing loss contributes to poverty, social isolation and feelings of loneliness.” Sutton continues, “with technology, support networks like the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and other advances, people living with hearing loss have the ability to be more connected than ever and shouldn’t let their hearing loss limit them.”
At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world. For those who have hearing loss, appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication. Globally, there is a lack of access to interventions to address hearing loss, such as hearing aids.
Good hearing health is important. When we do not hear at our best, the consequences can have a significant impact on our mental health and social well-being, says Marilyn Kingdon, chair, of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association Board of Directors. Kingdon continues to say, “people living with hearing loss should not feel they are alone as the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association is here to support you each step of the way with you throughout your hearing loss journey.”
About the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association
Established in 1982 the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA) is the leading consumer advocacy organization representing the needs of the nearly 4-million Canadians impacted by hearing loss. With a network across Canada, CHHA works cooperatively with professionals, service providers, government and provides life enhancing information, support and advocacy to ensure people impacted with hearing loss can overcome barriers in their lives.
CHHA has a global reputation in developing and delivering a wide range of initiatives that have challenged the status quo when working with people with hearing loss. As a leader in the sector we are sought after to provide comments and feedback on various policy initiatives, identify best practices, develop and test technology, which in return has advanced the quality of life for people living with hearing loss.