Time for action: For the first time ever, the WHO published a World Report on Hearing, highlighting this important topic and urging member states to take action and include ear and hearing care in their national health plans.
Do you ever get goosebumps while listening to your favorite piece of music? Or get all fuzzy and warm deep down in your gut when you hear your children’s giggles?
Sounds are closely linked to our emotions. When affected by hearing loss, we not only lose the ability to hear certain sounds, it also impacts the emotional connection with the world around us.
But this isn’t all. If unaddressed, hearing loss can have a negative impact on many aspects of our life: the development of language and speech in children, cognition, education, employment, mental health, and interpersonal relationships.
The ability to hear is such a vital part of our lives that we often take it for granted. But our ears aren’t invulnerable. Hearing loss can affect every one of us in all stages of life.
Yet, according to WHO estimates, 50 percent of hearing loss could be prevented through public health measures such as immunization, improved maternal and neonatal care, as well as legislation on noise control. And many of the effects of hearing loss can be alleviated through early detection via clinical screenings and interventions including speech therapy, specialized education, hearing aids or cochlear implants.
However, in most countries, ear and hearing care is not yet integrated into the national health system. This – among other factors relating to regulation, pricing and stigmatization – is reflected in the gap between those who could benefit from a hearing aid and the only 17% of those who use one. This gap is consistently high in all parts of the world and across income levels.
At Sonova, our vision is a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and lives a life without limitations. By providing industry-leading audiological performance and outstanding consumer experience we help people hear the world. We reach our consumers through multiple channels; this diversity lets them benefit from our broad range of solutions – hearing aids, cochlear implants, wireless communication products, digital solutions, and professional audiological care – in the way that best suits their individual needs.
We therefore wholeheartedly support the WHO’s initiative: Hearing care for all. The common goal of WHO and Sonova is to raise people's awareness on the importance of good hearing, prevention, early detection and proper treatment of hearing loss. Because everyone deserves to live a life without limitations.
80 percent of people with hearing loss live in low to middle-income countries and have little access to audiological or medical care. This is where the Hear the World Foundation comes in. Since 2006, the foundation has been equipping children in need 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.
Learn more and support the important work of the Hear the World Foundation: https://www.hear-the-world.com/en