World Hearing Day, an annual event held on March 3 to raise awareness on hearing loss prevention and hearing care, was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007 and was originally known as International Ear Care Day.
This year’s theme, “Hearing for Life. Don’t let hearing loss limit you,” is intended to remind the public that timely interventions can help ensure that people with hearing loss reach their “full potential.”
Key messages for World Hearing Day 2020, according to the WHO’s website, are:
- At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world.
- For those who have hearing loss, appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.
- Globally, there is lack of access to interventions to address hearing loss, such as hearing aids.
- Early intervention should be made available through the health systems.
As part of the event, many hearing health-focused organizations will hold their own events spring- boarding from the WHO’s initiative.
For example, the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) will designate March as Humanitarian Month, with planned projects that include hearing screenings, food drives, educational events, and social media campaigns. The Ida Institute has compiled educational resources such as the “Questions for People with Hearing Loss,” a Q&A for people curious about the day-to-day impact of hearing loss, as well as a hearing test to determine any impairment. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has compiled a “digital toolkit” that includes intervention/treatment options, hearing protection suggestions, and campaigns tailored to pediatric, adult, and senior populations.
Source: WHO, The Ida Institute, SAA, ASHA