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World Hearing Day 2023: MED-EL highlights the importance of early identification and adequate treatment

Mar 3, 2023

March 03, 2023 – (Innsbruck, Austria): Today MED-EL, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in celebrating World Hearing Day, an internationally recognized day aimed at preventing hearing loss and promoting ear and hearing care. Nearly 2.5 billion people globally are predicted to be living with hearing loss by 2050 – that’s 1 in 4 people. To reduce the impact of hearing loss, particularly in children, simple public health measures such as immunization, prenatal care, and newborn hearing screenings are recommended by the WHO. 
Globally, 1 in 5 people already live with some degrees of hearing loss.  If left untreated, this can have a significant impact on a person’s life, from developmental delays in children’s speech and language skills to a reduced quality of life connected to social isolation and can even lead to an 8% increased risk of dementia.  For all ages, regular hearing tests and access to treatment for hearing loss are crucial to help mitigate the effects of untreated hearing loss.

Recognizing the signs of hearing loss

Recognizing early signs of hearing loss can be challenging as it usually develops gradually with subtle symptoms. A child not responding to being called or an adult having to ask people to repeat themselves could potentially indicate hearing loss.  Other typical signs of hearing loss in adults include:
Increasing the volume of the television, radio, or music system 
Having trouble making phone calls
Saying that others are mumbling or asking them to repeat sentences

MED-EL is committed to promoting ear and hearing care for all

Since the modern cochlear implant was first invented over 45 years ago, MED-EL has continuously advocated for greater awareness of hearing loss around the globe. Its Hearbetter network helps hearing and healthcare specialists to learn more about the indications of hearing implants. MED-EL also supports a global community of volunteer Hearpeers mentors, who themselves use hearing implants such as cochlear implants.

In its aim to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life, MED-EL is helping developing and emerging countries establish and improve their hearing care systems. There is often a lack of established hearing screening programs, the required specialized knowledge about hearing solutions as well as the adequate equipment. 

We are extremely proud of our continued commitment to improve the lives of individuals with hearing loss. That is why we have been partnering with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) to establish the Hearing Healthcare Alliance, an international network of experts in the field of education, global health and hearing care. Its program focuses on improving the care for people with hearing loss in 14 developing and emerging countries worldwide”, says Patrick D’Haese, Corporate Director of Awareness and Public Affairs, MED-EL.
Within any country’s hearing care system, hearing tests and screenings remain an essential pillar and preventive measure of hearing loss. 

Early detection for an appropriate treatment

Getting regular hearing screenings is a very important first step to detect and then treat hearing loss.  A free online hearing test available at medel.com/hearing-test is a quick and easy step to check how well you can hear and communicate in everyday life. 

World report on hearing. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO, p.1
World Health Organization. (2021, April 1). Deafness and hearing loss. World Health Organization. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss
World report on hearing. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO, p. 7
4 Livingston G et al. (2020): Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020 Aug 8;396(10248):413-446.

About MED-EL

MED-EL Medical Electronics, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, is driven by a mission to overcome hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. The Austrian-based, privately owned business was co-founded by industry pioneers Ingeborg and Erwin Hochmair, whose ground-breaking research led to the development of the world’s first micro-electronic multi-channel cochlear implant (CI), which was successfully implanted in 1977 and was the basis for what is known as the modern CI today. This laid the foundation for the successful growth of the company in 1990, when they hired their first employees. To date, MED-EL has more than 2,500 employees from around 80 nations and 30 locations worldwide.
The company offers the widest range of implantable and non-implantable solutions to treat all types of hearing loss, enabling people in 137 countries enjoy the gift of hearing with the help of a MED-EL device. MED-EL’s hearing solutions include cochlear and middle ear implant systems, a combined electric acoustic stimulation hearing implant system, auditory brainstem implants as well as surgical and non-surgical bone conduction devices. www.medel.com


Doz. DI Dr DDr med. h.c. Ingeborg Hochmair

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