Untreated hearing loss is one of the most widespread disabling health conditions in adults. It causes difficulties in finding and retaining employment, earlier retirement, reduced income, social isolation, depression, cognitive decline, reduced activities of daily life, reduced quality of life, frailty, and loss of independence.
EHIMA, along with the European Federation of Hard of Hearing People (EFHOH) and the European Association of Hearing Care Professionals (AEA) propose an action plan for policies in Europe to prevent, raise awareness of, and guarantee access to professional hearing care and quality hearing solutions.:
- Promoting the WHO’s “Make listening safe” campaign, including noise protection from consumer devices such as personal music players, personal sound amplification products (PSAPs), and wearables.
- Supporting the introduction of hearing screening programmes for new-borns, children, and adults from 50 years onwards to ensure early detection and intervention.
- Increasing public awareness of the consequences of hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Advocating for hearing care access in all countries.
- Supporting counselling and fitting of hearing aids by qualified professionals and participating in developing a new ISO norm on “Hearing Aid Fitting Management”.
- Supporting the new AEA Code of Conduct for European Hearing Care Professionals and ensure interference-free access to standardised wireless communication.
EFHOH, AEA, EHIMA: Joint Policy Paper (2017)