March 3 is World Hearing Day. Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), we want to raise awareness for hearing and hearing loss among as many people as possible. In an experiment, 16 children experienced the limitations that untreated hearing loss causes. We captured their learnings on camera.
How does it feel when you suddenly no longer understand your schoolmates or the teacher? When you can't hear what they're saying? Or if they say anything at all? When you see everyone laughing - but don't know why?
We wanted to find out and put special headphones on 16 primary school pupils at Obersee Bilingual School in Pfäffikon SZ to simulate hearing loss. "It was quite unpleasant," said one girl after the experiment. Another said: "It was sad. I felt kind of left out."
Immediately, the children devised strategies to deal with the limitations. They tried to read lips. They tried to explain themselves with gestures, or walked very close to their comrade's ear and talked as loud as possible.
When the children were allowed to take off their headphones after the end of the experiment, everyone was relieved and grateful to hear normally again. To be able to talk to their friends again and to hear music or other beautiful sounds. They all agreed that a world without hearing would be a difficult world.
The experiment was an exciting and extremely insightful learning experience for the children, especially considering that around 466 million people worldwide - 34 million of them children - are affected by hearing loss. The World Health Organization estimates that this number will rise to over 900 million people by 2050.
On the occasion of World Hearing Day on March 3, we are supporting the World Health Organization's slogan: Don't let hearing loss limit you. The common goal of WHO and Sonova is to raise people's awareness of the importance of good hearing, early detection and proper treatment of hearing loss. Because only those who can hear properly can participate in daily life without limitations.
In addition to the experiment at school, an audiologist introduced the children involved to the topics of hearing, hearing loss, the consequences of hearing loss and prevention. The girls and boys were not only able to experience first-hand what hearing loss feels like. They also learned about the educational, social and emotional consequences of hearing loss and what precautionary measures should be taken to prevent hearing loss in the first place.
The consequences of hearing loss are serious: children who cannot hear or hear poorly cannot learn to speak. They have difficulties at school and later in working life. This means they have little chance of leading an independent life.
80 percent of people with hearing loss live in low to middle-income countries and have little access to audiological or medical care. 60 percent of all hearing loss in children could be avoided through prevention.
This is where Sonova comes in with the Hear the World Foundation, because our vision is a world in which everyone has the chance to have good hearing. Since 2006, the foundation has therefore been equipping needy children and other affected people around the world with powerful hearing solutions and providing them with free hearing healthcare. The foundation also provides financial support to project partners and imparts knowledge through volunteer work by Sonova employees.
It is important to recognize hearing loss early on and act accordingly. Our sense of hearing is essential for us to be able to cope with everyday life. Often people affected do not even notice that they have poor hearing, because hearing loss often comes on gradually.
Find out how well you hear - easily and conveniently with our online hearing test.