In 2021 we are all looking for reasons to celebrate, and fortunately, we have a great cause with World Hearing Day on March 3! The World Health Organization has established this annual event to focus on a specific issue related to hearing, and this year’s banner topic is “Hearing Care for ALL!”
Around the world, many lack the resources to get the care they need. Although the World Health Organization campaign does address this concern, the topic encompasses all people who may experience hearing loss but do not address the condition.
Here in the US, many Americans who could benefit from hearing loss treatment do not. Whether it is due to lack of information or simply not being aware of the signs of hearing loss, the reality is that people wait an average of seven years to seek treatment. The World Health Organization hopes to raise awareness for people in this camp as well.
Let’s look at these two groups and think about the ways that you can get involved with promoting World Hearing Day on March 3rd!
Access to Hearing Care
When it comes to access to hearing care, many people around the world simply do not have the resources they need to procure treatment. Whether they live in remote areas prohibitively far from treatment centers or do not have the capital to buy hearing aids or other assistive technology, the World Health Organization is working at the level of governments and policymakers to advocate for increased access. One way to improve this access is by allocating government funding toward hearing care, but many of these governing bodies have not prioritized this type of health care among the many needs their people face.
The World Health Organization is using World Hearing Day to share information about the snowball of health and social effects of an increasing population of people with untreated hearing loss. Whether it is considered in terms of the network of related health conditions or lack of productivity in the workplace, the costs of hearing loss go far beyond individual inconvenience. Indeed, when people go without treatment for hearing loss, these people require more resources from other sources, making it a wise decision for governments to consider reallocating their funds and other resources toward providing free or low-cost hearing aids and assistive devices.
Avoidance of Hearing Care
In stark contrast with the lack of access that many people face when it comes to hearing health care, there is a large group of people right here in the United States who do not receive the care they need. Although they have the resources and access necessary to get hearing aids or other assistive devices, lack of awareness or simple avoidance prevents them from addressing the issue. In this case, the World Health Organization is promoting frequent hearing tests to monitor one’s hearing abilities in order to seek treatment if needed.
On the other hand, some people may simply not be aware or conscious of changes in their hearing. As a gradual condition, hearing loss may occur over a long period of time. In this case, the brain’s neuroplasticity has accommodated the hearing loss to some degree. Overtaxing one’s cognitive resources, however, can lead to an increased risk for dementia. Additionally, some people might be avoiding hearing loss treatment outright for personal reasons. Pervasive misconceptions about hearing aids need to be corrected in the public mind, and the World Health Organization has informational campaigns to promote a better understanding of what hearing aids can do and how they function today. Still, other people simply do not prioritize their hearing health among the many different demands on their time and resources.
In this last case, many do not realize the domino rally of health effects that can occur in the life of a person with untreated hearing loss, so the World Health Organization is promoting a better understanding of these many detrimental effects, as well. If any of these profiles sound familiar to you, why not take advantage of World Hearing Day in 2021 to take action?
Our Comprehensive Hearing Health Services
Whether you are focused around the world, in your community, or right in your own home, you can take steps to raise awareness around hearing loss and ensure that you and your loved ones are hearing at your best! Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our comprehensive hearing health services.