The lunchtime debate, on March 1st 2016, was to draw attention to the health benefits of professional hearing care and the costs of untreated hearing loss and took place at the European Parliament building in Brussels. Called “Hearing awareness. Professional Hearing Care Makes You Smarter and Healthier”, the event was arranged by the Association along with the European Federation of the Hard of Hearing (EFHOH) and the European Hearing Instruments Manufacturers Association (EHIMA).
World Hearing Day is an initiative by the World Health Organisation and one of the speakers, Dr. Shelly Chadha, was the WHO hearing officer. Also addressing the meeting was Lazlo Gabor Lovászy, from The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, French academic Professor Hélène Amieva, Sue Archbold, from the UK based Ear Foundation, Lidia Smolarek-Best, from EFHOH, and Mark Lauryens, President of the AEA.
The meeting heard that around 16-17% of all adults have a hearing loss, when measured with a hearing test. Unfortunately, only around one in three Europeans treat their hearing loss with professional hearing care. This means that 10% of all adult Europeans live with an untreated hearing loss. However several scientific studies in recent years have shown that professional hearing care makes people with hearing loss healthier than if the hearing loss is left untreated. The studies also document that if you do not treat your hearing loss you have an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The studies furthermore document that you have an increased risk of depression, psychosis and even an earlier death if you leave your hearing loss untreated.
Mark Lauryens to said in his presentation that the personal advantages of professional hearing care for the hearing impaired person are so obvious and at the same time professional hearing care is cost-efficient for society. The costs saved for society on other types of health care, less taxes paid, pensions and other social expenditures are enormous compared to the cost of treating more people with professional hearing care,”
You can download his presentation here