In Europe, 11.1% of the population report having hearing loss. Yet many do not seek or do not receive adequate care in the form of hearing screening or rehabilitative technologies such as hearing aids and implants. A mere 33% of people living with self-assessed hearing loss are estimated to use hearing aids. Lack of awareness among policy makers, health professionals, and even people with hearing loss themselves hinders prevention and access to rehabilitation. The new public information portal HearingYou.org aims to change this.
HearingYou.org is designed to be an authoritative gateway to raise awareness of the importance of hearing health as a public health issue. It has been launched by the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) to provide a global audience with information on all aspects of hearing health, including hearing loss prevention and rehabilitation, and to support effective policy measures against hearing loss. The centerpiece of the site is a data hub with the latest research, scientific evidence, facts, and figures on the prevalence of hearing loss; its economic impact; and how hearing loss is linked to chronic diseases such as dementia.
HearingYou.org brings together EHIMA’s internationally standardized “EuroTrak” surveys in one place, making it the largest source of comparable data on hearing health. EuroTrak is the most comprehensive multi-country study of hearing loss and hearing aid use. In addition to the US-focused MarkeTrak surveys, EuroTrak surveys measure self-reported hearing loss and use of professional hearing care in major European and Asia-Pacific countries. This allows HearingYou.org to act as an evidence hub for policy makers to help them design effective hearing care policies.
“The age structure of many societies is changing rapidly. Hearing health is destined to become a defining feature of future-proof policies,” points out EHIMA Secretary General Dr Stefan Zimmer. “Only what is measured can be managed, and HearingYou.org provides easy-to-find information for well-informed public policy. This would enable hearing impaired people to lead empowered and mobile lives.”
The new website includes information from EHIMA and its hearing care partners, such as the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH), the European Association of Hearing Aid Professionals (AEA), the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH), the European Association of Cochlear Implant Users (Euro-CIU), and other international and national associations and groups active in the field of hearing care.