HLAA survey on hearing loss and the pandemic

The Hearing Loss Association of America and Cochlear survey highlights COVID-19’s impact on the community of people with hearing loss in the U.S., including hearing and mental health-related implications.

  • Nearly half of those with hearing loss noticed impacts to other aspects of their health during the pandemic including increased anxiety, isolation and loneliness.
  • 70% are more aware of their hearing loss due to the pandemic; nearly half are more eager to explore hearing loss treatment options.
  • 95% of respondents reported that the use of face coverings impacted their ability to communicate
  • 68% increased their use of technology to communicate
  • 87% of hearing health care providers reported seeing increased signs of loneliness or isolation since the pandemic began.

This is according to a new survey conducted by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) in partnership with Cochlear Limited. Hearing loss is an invisible disease that affects almost 50 million Americans. The online survey of 1,399 participants sought to find out the pandemic’s impact on those in the hearing loss community, including individuals with hearing loss, their loved ones and their hearing health care professionals.

Have a look at HLAA Cochlear Pandemic Survey – Hearing Loss Association of America

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New figures on educational provision for deaf children in the UK published

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The latest Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE) reports into education provision for deaf children in England, Northern Ireland and Wales have now been published by National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and include unique information about those children with cochlear implants which may be useful to you.

The reports can be found online at www.ndcs.org.uk/CRIDE. These reports are a comprehensive and rich source of information on deaf children in the UK education systems including their primary form of communication and take-up of Cochlear Implants. Because the survey has been repeated over time it also provides very useful comparative data. The survey is compiled from specialist teaching services for children with hearing loss and deafness and provides essential data for future planning of services in the UK, which may be helpful for others. 

Looking at the figures for England key points from the research include:

  • 3,907 children known to the services (9% of the adjusted total of all deaf children) have at least one cochlear implant, which is up slightly from 8% in 2019 and 7% in 2017.
  • 2,966 children have a bone conduction device. This is an increase from 2019 when 5% of deaf children were reported to have a bone conduction device. The figure stood at 4% in 2017. Overall there are 6,873 children with a hearing implant known to specialist support services. 

Since 2015, when they last asked about languages used by all deaf children, the proportion using Spoken English has risen slightly from 86% to 88%. The proportion using Spoken English together with signed support has fallen from 8% to 7%.  There are 756 children (2%) using British Sign Language (BSL) as their main mode of communication with 2,667 children using spoken English with signed support. To summarise:

  • 88% deaf children are using Spoken English
  • 7% use Spoken English with Signed Support
  • 2% use BSL

The authors of the report note that ” it can be estimated that 45% of children with severe or profound hearing loss have at least one cochlear implant. If one were to make an assumption that most children with cochlear implants are those with a profound hearing loss, this percentage would rise to 77%. These proportions have risen from 41% and 71% respectively since 2019.”  

It is encouraging to see that there is good access in England for children to Cochlear Implants as a publicly funded service. This does raise the question to what extent schools and settings have enough awareness that children and young people with CI’s need specialist support and advice to be able to fully take advantage of its benefits. We know from other research that this additional support and understanding can be lacking in education systems. As the report points to continuing pressure on the specialist support services and growing caseloads in some areas this suggests the need for further investment in specialist support services to ensure that hearing technology can have more impact on outcomes for children and young people. 

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World Hearing Day, 3 March 2022: To listen for life, listen with care!

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What are you planning for World Hearing Day? Every year on 3 March World Hearing Day is celebrated globally with a huge range of activities on one theme. In 2022 the theme is To Listen for Life, Listen with Care!

World Hearing Day will mark the launch of:

  • Global standard for safe listening entertainment venues​,
  • mSafeListening handbook​, and
  • Media toolkit for journalists.

This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the impact of hearing loss, and your activities. Go to  World Hearing Day 2022 (who.int) to see some great resources and ideas for your activities and join in the global activities on the day!

You can register your activity for World Hearing Day and see an overview of all the planned projects at Projects Overview – World Hearing Day

There are small grants available to help you with a closing date of 7 February 2022 and go to World Hearing Forum / Coalition for Global Hearing Health Small Grants (usu.edu) to apply.

Here is the link to the report of activities from 2021: https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.who.int/publications/m/item/world-hearing-day-2021—report-of-activities__;!!Eh6P0A!DoknTczGE2tY2lecyUnt7csz94SX6S1VO2-He9tbVuKTG6W_0Idb8JYJn_zvBTlJHySGaWR2$

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CIICA and EUROCIU launch new resource: WHY HEARING WELL MATTERS FOR HEALTHY AGEING

Healthy Ageing is linked to addressing hearing loss

Download here and share!

The Cochlear Implant International Community of Action (CIICA) with EUROCIU today (1 December 2021) launched a new briefing on how addressing hearing loss could help support healthy ageing by mitigating against the effects of cognitive decline and dementia. Reviewing recent research the briefing concludes that early intervention in the form of using hearing aids could mitigate the progression of cognitive decline and possibly dementia in older people. 

It also reviewed growing evidence which points towards Cochlear Implants (CI) having the potential to arrest cognitive decline for many CI recipients. This in turn suggests that Cochlear Implants, and other hearing instruments, combined with appropriate rehabilitation, could positively impact on the progression of dementia while not necessarily being able to reverse it. 

Leo De Raeve, Acting Chair of CIICA comments:

During the last decade, the relationship  between hearing loss, cognitive decline and dementia has become clearer.  This document brings together the recently published evidence related to the impact of hearing loss on cognition, of hearing technology, of not addressing hearing loss and dementia and offers several suggestions for action.  Not only for professionals in the field of hearing care, but also for users’ associations (such as EURO-CIU) and advocacy groups (such as CIICA), this is a very valuable document which can support them in their actions.

Teresa Amat, President of EUROCIU says:

This topic has concerned us  for some time and  we wanted to pursue it for our members. Thanks to CIICA and EURO-CIU collaboration we have this strong document which brings all the evidence together to make the case for addressing hearing care and preventing hearing loss as well as invest in hearing technology. This is a must for all countries, administrations and organizations interested in hearing care and ageing well. 

The authors conclude:

“While future research is needed to better evaluate the mechanisms, hearing loss is the most important potentially reversible risk factor for dementia. (WHO, 2021; Livingston, 2020). Professionals, Health Authorities and those with hearing loss should be aware of this association. If we can mitigate the onset or effects of dementia through addressing hearing loss early this could make a large impact on reducing the overall costs associated with dementia and the burden on caregivers and society. “

Download the resource and share with your colleagues and members!

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Malala Fund and Cochlear Foundation in Partnership

THE MALALA FUND AND COCHLEAR FOUNDATION IN PARTNERSHIP to raise awareness of need for early access to ear and hearing care and the importance of equal rights to education.

The world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and co-founder of Malala Fund, Malala Yousafzai, called for societies and governments to prioritise hearing health across the life-course in a personal foreword for the World Health Organization’s first-ever World Report on Hearing, in March 2021.

According to the @WHO, 34 million children worldwide have disabling hearing loss. If children with hearing loss do not receive hearing healthcare and support early on, they often experience lower school performance, higher risk of dropping out of school, and less likelihood of accessing University. This problem is worse in many parts of the world where children — especially girls — already face significant barriers to education. Hearing loss does not have to be a barrier to life’s opportunities. @MalalaFund and Cochlear Foundation have partnered to raise awareness and help overcome barriers keeping millions of young people with hearing loss from accessing a quality education and early access to hearing healthcare and support.

CIICA supports this call for equal access to education and early hearing healthcare which is so important for us all. Watch and share this video as Malala tells her amazing story. It raises the self- confidence of children and young people with hearing loss and inspires them to achieve anything they set their minds to.

Malala Fund and Cochlear Foundation are inviting children and young people with hearing loss to share their stories of personal achievement as part of the ‘Achieve anything program.’ This new program will highlight and publicly recognise their real-world experiences of children and young people with hearing loss and promote their equal rights to an education and early access to hearing healthcare and support. Visit www.cochlearfoundation.org to learn more about the partnership and how to submit stories to the ‘Achieve anything program’.

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WHO launches Hearing Screening: Considerations for Implementation

The World report on hearing recommends that WHO Member States take urgent and evidence-based policy action to prevent, identify and rehabilitate hearing loss. Screening for hearing loss and ear diseases at specific time points forms an important part of this strategy.

HEARING screening: considerations for implementation builds on the recommendations made in the World report on hearing. It aims to provide Member States with technical guidance for establishing evidence-based programmes for hearing screening in different target age-groups and to facilitate early interventions for ear diseases and hearing loss in: 

  • newborns and infants
  • schoolchildren 
  • older people

Screening was identified as vital to our network members and the World Health Organisation launched this handbook on screening this week. Three more webinars will be available to share more information about each area. To register go here: Launch of HEARING screening: considerations for recommendations (who.int)

These are all vital issues for the CIICA network  wherever you are. WHO hope it inspires hearing screening programmes to facilitate early intervention to address hearing loss. 

Go to Hearing screening: considerations for implementation (who.int) to download the document which provides information and evidence to establish screening programmes. 

More information at www.ciicanet.org/resources.

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Anniversary of the International Consensus Statements!

The Anniversary of the publication of the International Consensus Statements on Adult Cochlear Implantation is marked by the publication of Landmark – 12months on. There has been an amazing amount of activity to share that has taken place globally – raising the issue of adult CI during what has been a challenging time globally. Read the fascinating and encouraging summary of the activity of which CIICA has been a part….ICP 12 months in review (flippingbook.com)

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UK annual CI update: 2020-2021 data now available!

Every year BCIG asks UK cochlear implant centre coordinators to share the number of new patients who have received cochlear implants, and the number of people with cochlear implants that they look after.  Thanks to all the centre coordinators for sharing their data. In the UK from 1-4-20 to 31-3-21, 848 new people received cochlear implants. Lower of course than our usual annual figure, but great to see that so many people did get to benefit from a CI, despite the pandemic. You can also see the figures over the years with the trends over time which is really helpful. See the full figures here:

https://www.bcig.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2-8-21-BCIG-CI-data.pdf

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Four summaries of the CI evidence from WHO World Report on Hearing now available

Cochlear implant is one of the most successful of all neural prostheses developed to date. (WHO, World Report on Hearing, P100)

We now have four summaries for you to download and share:

Translations of the synopsis available in Dutch, Turkish and Russian. Download: Dutch, Turkish, Russian

The Evidence Briefing available in Russian. Download: Russian

Coming soon in German, Spanish, Italian and French. Do offer to translate one in another language – go to info@ciicanet.org

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HLAA’s Externally-Led Patient Focused Drug Development Meeting: Voice of the Patient Report now available

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) received permission from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to hold an Externally-Led Patient-Focused Drug Development Meeting for People and Families Living with Sensorineural Hearing Loss (https://www.hearingloss.org/hlaa-pfdd/) on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

This was a real opportunity to ensure patient engagement has a role in shaping future hearing loss treatments and creating a deeper understanding by FDA of the impact of hearing loss on individuals and their quality of life. The voice of those with hearing loss was certainly heard loud and clear!

We are delighted to share that the “Voice of the Patient” report is now available online. You will also find the comments we received prior to, during and after the meeting online.

The May 25 HLAA interactive virtual meeting had 411 unique views. There were 712 people who pre-registered for the meeting.

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