International Ear Care Day 2014 Calls for Greater Aural Health Care
Last Monday (3rd March) was International Ear Care Day 2014. Three international organisations, the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People, Association European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals and the EHIMA met at the World Health Organisation (WHO) Head Quarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to call on the EU Commission to include systematic screenings of hearing loss in general medical checkups in adults 55 and over. This would only apply to the member states of the WHO.
WHO recently launched a survey which resulted in many countries revealed that they could not prevent and care for hearing loss. According to Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disablitiy, “The results of this survey are a clear call to action for governments and partners to invest in hearing care especially at community and primary level.”
The WHO estimates that over 360 million people (about 5% of the world’s population) have hearing conditions, of which about half could be easily treated or prevented. The highest areas of prevalence are sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Asia Pacific.
The survey included 76 country participants with just 32 confirming developed plans and programs to combat, prevent and control ear diseases and hearing loss. Many countries lack trained personnel to deal with the conditions. But the issue runs deeper as many countries lack educational facilities and data to learn about aural health as well as a lack of national plan to implement the health care needs.
Dr Krug continues to say, ““The programmes must aim to benefit all, including disadvantaged parts of the population who are least able to access hearing services.”
Prevention of hearing loss remains one of the key solutions to preserving hearing. Decreasing exposure to noise as well as avoiding inserting foreign objects into the ear canal can prevent many people from developing aural problems. Dr Shelley Chadha (Prevention of Blindness and Deafness at the WHO) adds, “National programmes should therefore not only focus on prevention and service provision but also on awareness raising.”
Each country needs to find a health care model that works for their circumstances, however, countries with models in place can be used to fashion new developing models. March 3rd was selected as International Ear Care Day due to the shape of the number 3 being similar to an ear. 3rd of March (3rd month) representing two ears. PERFECTFit is proud to contribute towards safer aural health to ensure that hearing is preserved and health issues are avoided. PERFECTFit offers various ear plugs for numerous circumstances to ensure users preserve their hearing and practice good aural health.
As part of this, the PERFECTfit noise slider is a great tool to help understand your exposure to noise, your daily noise limit and how effective hearing protection extends the time it takes to reach your safe daily noise limit: potentially from a matter of minutes to hours!
PERFECTfit sliders are available free of charge from your local PERFECTfit partner. Alternatively, visit our PERFECTFit product list online for further product information.