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Focusing on hearing health ahead of World Health Day

06 April, 2017
The theme for this year’s World Health Day (Friday 07 April) is depression
The theme for this year’s World Health Day (Friday 07 April) is depression

This World Health Day Specsavers is encouraging people to have regular hearing tests to protect against the problems linked to undiagnosed hearing loss.

Depression and research

The theme for this year’s World Health Day (Friday 07 April) is depression and research has shown that the condition is associated with untreated hearing loss, which is also linked to feelings of frustration and anxiety.

Hearing loss

Despite around one in six Irish adults suffering from hearing loss, recent research by Specsavers shows 69% of people have not had their hearing tested in the last five years¹.

More than one in three Irish adults (38%) surveyed also said they would avoid some social situations if they were not able to hear properly. The average person also waits about 10 years to get treatment after first noticing they have a problem².

Mental health

Specsavers audiologist, Jeff Walbran said: ‘Not only are there physical symptoms associated with hearing loss, such as not being able to hear the television or radio, but it can also lead to social isolation and have a detrimental effect on mental health.

'People with hearing loss, particularly those who don’t wear hearing aids, can experience a myriad of mental and emotional issues such as depression, anger, anxiety, loneliness and frustration as they find it more difficult to communicate with other people, whether in family situations, social gatherings or at work.’

Free hearing screenings

Specsavers recommends that those over the age of 55 have their hearing texted every two years and offers free hearing screenings and a consultation with a qualified audiologist at its hearing centres across the country. ‘Hearing loss occurs gradually and by the time many people recognise the need for hearing aids, their quality of life may have deteriorated unnecessarily. Therefore, I would urge anyone who has concerns about their hearing to take action as soon as you notice any problems and avail of a free hearing screening and consultation at Specsavers,’ commented Jeff.

World Health Day is a global health awareness day marked every year on 07 April, the founding day of the World Health Organization (WHO). Established in 1950, it promotes a different health topic each year.

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¹ The nationally representative survey was conducted in November 2016 by Empathy Research through an online omnibus survey. A sample size of 1,000 was achieved with quotas set on gender, age, social class and region to achieve a sample aligned with national population.

² Hearing Loss Ireland: www.ihha.ie