(PRESS RELEASE) – Hearing loss is a condition where one’s ability to hear is reduced or impaired.
Some common causes of hearing loss include loud noise and ageing among other factors. The Starkey Hearing Foundation is back on island to provide relief to over 600 St. Lucians who qualify for hearing aids to improve their quality of life.
Hearing loss can have far reaching implication for individuals and their families. Untreated hearing loss is associated with a lower quality of life, depression, social isolation, increased medical bills and even higher blood pressure. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is making yet another appeal to persons to get their hearing tested to quality to be outfitted with a free hearing aid by the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Audiology Specialist with the Ministry of Health, Nurse Practitioner Diana King-Dornelly explained some of the conditions which can affect one’s hearing.
“Well there are many different causes of hearing loss. For some it’s congenital, they are born with it. For others you can develop it as time goes by because of different conditions or recurrent ear infections. Different medications can cause it as well. As you get older you tend to develop hearing loss over time so you have degeneration going on so the hearing begins to drop. Exposure to loud music, exposure to noises depending on where you work. If you work in a very noisy place you’re at risk for hearing loss. We would urge people working in those areas or who are exposed to loud noises to come in to be tested as well.”
The Phillip Marcellin grounds in Vieux Fort has been selected as the venue for the Starkey Hearing Mission to outfit person who qualify for free hearing aids. Nurse Dornelly outlined the simple procedure to qualify for a hearing aid.
“They will be here on the 17th and 18th of January and on these two days they’re hoping to fit at least 600 people with hearing aids but in order to do that we would like persons to come in and be screened. So we are urging everyone, people who think they may have a hearing loss or not sure if they are having a hearing loss or those who do have a hearing loss to come in to the Vieux Fort Health Centre or the Entrepot Health Centre to be screened. We’re going to test the hearing and we will advise them accordingly.”
Dornelly said anyone regardless of age can quality for the hearing aid.
“Actually there is no age limit so anyone who has a hearing loss can be fitted with a hearing aid and for persons who are not sure as to whether they have a hearing loss we are urging them to come. So what we will do is screen them and see if they qualify and if they do qualify we refer them on to the Starkey team for fitting of a hearing aid. People may have hearing losses that they are not aware of as well and it’s not just adults, children can have a hearing loss as well as older adults. So we’re urging everyone to come in to be screened.”
The Starkey Hearing Foundation is committed to providing free hearing aids and after care services for these devices totally free.