March is Hearing Awareness Month

March 2024 is Hearing Awareness Month. Source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.Hearing Awareness Month (and World Hearing Day on 3rd March) is all about putting a spotlight on hearing health and raising awareness for the experiences of 880,000+ New Zealanders who are deaf or hard of hearing.

A big focus for the month is making listening safe. 1 in 5 young people globally now have a disabling hearing loss. This number is expected to double over the next 30 years if we do nothing.

Our ears are more fragile than many of us realise. Often young people don’t know they are permanently damaging their hearing until it’s too late. This is due to listening to personal devices on headphones for too long and too loudly. Sadly, once your hearing is gone it’s gone for good.

Even a mild hearing loss can have life-long impacts on education, social well-being and mental health. This is your opportunity to share how important it is to look after your ears.

There are many ways you can get involved this Hearing Awareness Month, including:

  • Getting a hearing check if you are concerned about your hearing;
  • Learning NZ Sign Language;
  • Creating an inclusive and accessible experience for deaf or hard of hearing staff, students or customers at your school or workplace; or
  • Donate or sponsor a child’s hearing screening session. It costs $65 to screen one child’s hearing.

 

Small changes to listening habits can make a big difference

Changing mindsets about hearing loss. Hearing loss - Myth: Old age, Reality: Can happen at any age.  Hearing loss - Myth: Inevitable, Reality: Preventable. Hearing aids - Myth: Don't work well, Reality: Better hearing, better life. Hearing aids - Myth: Too expensive, Reality: Investment in quality of life. Tinnitus - Myth: An inconvenience, Reality: Warning sign of hearing loss.
Source: World Health Organisation.It’s pretty easy to look after your hearing once you know how to make listening safe. You’ll be able to enjoy sounds safely by making just a few small changes to your listening habits.
Here are some tips that can help you keep your hearing for life:

  1. Keep volumes as low as possible while listening to music – below the halfway mark.
  2. Ask a friend if they can hear your headphone music. If they can, turn the volume down.
  3. Never use music to drown out other noises.
  4. Use headphones instead of ear buds.
  5. Wear earplugs. They help to reduce noise levels, which makes for safer listening.
  6. Give your ears a break from music for at least five minutes every hour.
  7. Pay attention to the warning signs of hearing loss, such as ringing in the ears.
  8. Leave if it’s uncomfortably loud or painful.

Get a hearing check if you are worried about your hearing.

Show your support by donating to or volunteering for NFDHH

The National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing working hard to ensure hearing health is prioritised at every age. They run school, pre-school and workplace programmes focus on three main principles:

  • creating more inclusive environments for infants, students and employees who are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • the prevention of hearing loss; and
  • ensuring a timely diagnosis and support is available.

The National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing do not receive government funding – so their programmes and initiatives rely on the generous support of our donors.

Your donation will help deliver vital programmes to reduce levels of hearing loss in New Zealand and advocate for better services and support for New Zealanders who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing website.

Published on Tuesday, February 27th, 2024, under Uncategorised
Page last updated: 02/04/2024

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