New Zealand Hearing week 2017

15 February 2017
WHO Hearingweek v2

Hearing week

New Zealand Hearing Week is Sunday 26th February to Saturday 4th March, with World Hearing Day on the Friday. This year's World Health Organisation theme is "Action for Hearing Loss: make a Sound Investment".
"The theme for World Hearing Day 2017 “Action for Hearing Loss: make a Sound Investment” draws attention to the economic impact of hearing loss. Unaddressed hearing loss poses a high cost for the economy globally and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected. Interventions to address hearing loss are available and are cost-effective. 

Prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education are among the strategies which can mitigate hearing loss and its consequences." - World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation identifies the following as an impact of hearing loss:
  • Barrier to education and social integration
  • Loss of productivity
  • Cognitive decline and depression 

How we can help

Microsuction is a safe, thorough, cost-effective means of looking after ears. Not only does mirosuction remove wax from the ear canal, but also is a safe means of removing any foreign bodies that have been put into an ear canal, i.e. cotton tips.

The ear nurse is a specialist in ear care and can offer advice in prevention of hearing loss by looking after your ears, especially when you are about to take a flight, go swimming, or even attend a concert.

Microsuction is very effective in the treatment of ear infections. The suction enables the ear canal to be cleared of any debris caused by the infection, and allows any medication put into the ear to work more effectively.

If you are a good "wax maker" and find that your ears block up regularly, it is important to have this wax removed on a regular basis to avoid hearing loss, pain, and often balance issues. 

The National Foundation for the Deaf (NFD) claim that "it is predicted that by 2050 one in four New Zealanders will have a hearing loss - up from one in six. [They are] working to ensure this dire forecast doesn’t come true."

NFD's 10 tips to prevent hearing loss:

  1. Get help
    If you have a sudden severe hearing loss, see a doctor urgently. Also, if you have some hearing loss, and your hearing doesn’t return to normal within two days, see your doctor
  2. Avoid noise damage
    Avoid prolonged or repeated exposure to loud noise. Learn more: Noise damage.
  3. Avoid loud music
    Listen to music at a sensible volume. Don’t have the volume up too loud for long periods, especially on a personal music player with headphones/ear buds.
  4. Use protective gear
    Always wear safety-approved earplugs or earmuffs when mowing the lawn, using power tools, shooting a gun or in any noisy environment.
  5. Act on ear infections
    If you or your child has an earache, see the doctor. Earaches are often a sign of an ear infection which, if not treated, can lead to hearing loss. Keep a careful eye on children up to age 10 as they are more likely to have middle ear problems. 
  6. Avoid foreign objects
    Don’t put foreign objects into your ear canal. The wax in your ear canal will make its own way to your outer ear. You can clean your outer ear with a warm flannel, or have the wax removed professionally.
  7. Avoid cotton wool
    Don’t use cotton wool instead of earplugs. Cotton wool offers no hearing protection at all. It can also damage the ear if pushed too far in.
  8. Use protection for water sports
    During high-speed water sports like water skiing, wear a swim cap or approved swimmer’s earplugs.
  9. Dive carefully
    Too much change in air pressure while scuba diving can cause inner ear damage, dizziness and hearing loss. Equalise regularly during descent. If you are having difficulties seek professional advice before you dive again.
  10. Avoid air travel with a heavy cold
    In a plane, your ears may be unable to clear during changes in air pressure, which could lead to a ruptured eardrum or inner ear damage.
    Donations to The National Foundation for the Deaf can be made here:
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