OHS Canada Magazine

Canadian initiative designed to improve hearing goes global

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April 17, 2019
By Jean Lian

Health & Safety Occupational Hygiene hearing loss Illness Prevention Injury

TORONTO, Feb. 21, 2018 /CNW/ – Global hearing care retailer, Audika, is pleased to announce the worldwide launch of the International Campaign for Better Hearing. The Canadian initiative, first established in 2014, offers anyone over the age of 60 a free hearing test and makes hearing aids accessible to people who otherwise could not afford them. This global launch furthers the company’s mission to help more people hear better.

Hearing Loss affects 360 million people worldwide and is the number one cause of years lived with a disability in people over 70, globally (i). According to 2017 statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) on deafness and hearing loss, approximately one third of the world’s population over 65 years of age is affected by disabling hearing loss.ii In Canada, more than 40 per cent of Canadians ages 20 – 79 have some form of hearing impairment (iii). The goal of the International Campaign for Better Hearing and its sponsors is to make a positive impact in the lives of those affected with hearing loss by offering proper assessments through participating hearing care experts. The ‘Test your Ears at 60 Years’ initiative created by HearingLife promotes the importance of all people above 60 receiving an annual hearing checkup.

“We are so pleased that an initiative first launched by HearingLife in Canada now has the opportunity to improve the lives of those with hearing loss, worldwide,” says Gino Chouinard, President of HearingLife. “To date, we have provided more than 200 free hearing aids to Canadians across the country and the response has been overwhelming. You cannot underestimate the far-reaching impact of hearing loss on an individual’s life – being able to provide hearing aids to those in need is a win for everyone.”

HearingLife established the program’s model and for every free hearing test performed as part of the Campaign, a donation of approximately $4 is made by participating clinics. With the funds raised, free hearing aids are provided to nominated clients as part of the giveback program in local communities.

In an effort to put hearing care on the global healthcare agenda, the International Campaign for Better Hearing aims to inform and educate people about hearing healthcare and the consequences of untreated hearing loss. Recent studies have demonstrated links between hearing loss and numerous psychological and cognitive disorders. In 2017, The Lancet Commission on Dementia reported that cognitive decline, depression and dementia are strongly associated with hearing loss (iv). This was further reinforced by research, published in the Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences this year, which confirmed strong links between hearing status and the risk of disability, dementia, and depression in older adults (v).

Untreated hearing loss can have serious consequences with risk factors escalating substantially as the level of hearing loss increases. With early detection, the adverse effects of hearing loss can often be prevented, and the lives of both the individuals suffering from hearing loss and their loved ones can be significantly improved.

“Being part of William Demant Group, a global leader within the hearing aid industry, we have a responsibility to help more people hear better,” says Jillian Price, Chief Audiologist at HearingLife. “Hearing is an asset to your quality of life and hearing poorly is a significant liability. We need to get as many people as possible that have hearing difficulties treated with care and expertise. Delivering on our vision will help reduce associated health issues and contribute to creating a happier, healthier and more inclusive society worldwide.”

From March 3rd 2018, the Campaign will be live in Australia, Canada, France, UK, Ireland and Portugal.

Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. In Canada, Audika operates under the name HearingLife with an ambition to help more people hear better. Hearing is quality of life and people deserve to reach their full hearing potential. That is what the hearing care experts at Audika work for every day. Audika is a hearing care retailer that supports every kind of hearing loss from mild to severe. Headquartered in Denmark, Audika is part of the global William Demant Group with more than 12,000 employees and annual revenue of more than DKK 12 billion. William Demant is a global group covering all areas of hearing healthcare: From diagnostic instruments and traditional hearing aids to cochlear implants and bone-anchored hearing solutions as well as various assistive listening devices.


i Spend to save, Investing in hearing technology improves lives and saves society money by The Ear
Foundation, page 4
ii http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/
iii https://www.google.ca/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=hearing+loss+statistics+canada&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=Ld6BWo6lGc_F8geHmLOICg
iv Livingstone et al, 2017 – Dementia prevention, intervention and care
v Amieva et al, 2018 – Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated With Self-reported Hearing
Problems: A 25-Year Study

For further information: Ethan Pigott, ethan@pigott.ca, 416-558-2783


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