DeafHear Regional News

Regional News

 

Minister Launches Mind Your Hearing Campaign

Campaign aims to reduce the time people
delay in addressing their hearing loss.
Posted: 15th September 2015

 

DeafHear: The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar T.D. Launches Mind Your Hearing Campaign 2015
The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar T.D.

The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar T.D. launched the Mind Your Hearing campaign in Trinity College on September 14th. People wait an average of ten years to address their hearing loss, which impacts significantly on their general health and wellbeing. The campaign has been organised by DeafHear in association with Hearing Loss Ireland, ISHAA and the HSE.


1 in 6
people have some level of hearing loss


DeafHear: Ronan Collins xxx the Mind Your Hearing campaign 2015

Ronan Collins
MC at Mind Your Hearing Launch

 

 

Hearing loss is a common health condition, with one in six people having some level of hearing loss, while more than a quarter of a million people in Ireland 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.”


DeafHear: Professor Sabina Brennan and Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar T.D. at launch of Mind Your Hearing Campaign 2015

Prof Sabina Brennan & Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar T.D.

 

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 for the Mind Your Hearing campaign said that until recently, we did not have any real idea or clear evidence of the scale at which hearing loss is impacting on the health of individuals and the wider population.

He said that “people with hearing loss have more than 30% faster rates of cognitive decline and much higher rates of dementia compared to their hearing peers.”

DeafHear: Brendan Lennon, Project Manager for the Mind Your Hearing campaign 2015

Brendan Lennon,
Project Manager for the
Mind Your Hearing campaign

 

He added that hearing loss was also associated with increased social isolation, reduced levels of independence and double the rate of depression, while it has been found to be the second highest impacting health condition on the physical and cognitive wellbeing of those affected.

Lennon said that the good news is that “for most people with hearing loss, the fitting of hearing aids is a very effective solution. Those with hearing aids report significant improvements in the quality of their relationships, more social participation and better quality of life.” Professor Brennan pointed out that hearing aids not only improve a person’s function, but may even help protect against cognitive decline. Yet only one third of people who need hearing aids actually have them.

At the campaign launch the Minister also officially launched a video, which includes the personal experiences of a number of people with a hearing loss, and a brochure giving information and advice to people on how to check their hearing.


Hearing loss leads to…

loneliness and social isolation which are
actually as bad for your health as smoking and obesity.


 

A new website giving advice to people concerned about hearing loss also was also launched at the event and can be visited at www.mindyourhearing.ie

DeafHear: Brendan Lennon, Project Manager for the Mind Your Hearing campaign 2015

 

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