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Rotarians turn up ​the volume to ​support those ​with hearing loss



Are you ever left out of discussions or feel hesitant to participate because ​you're unsure of what's being said? Does background noise make it hard for ​you to hear, or do others seem to mumble or slur their words? If so, you ​might be experiencing some level of hearing loss.

Last month’s World Hearing Day focused on overcoming the challenges posed by ​social misperceptions and stigmatising mindsets through awareness raising and ​information sharing. According to the World Health Organisation:

  • By 2050 almost 2.5 billion people will have some degree of hearing loss.
  • Over 1 billion young adults are at risk of permanent, avoidable hearing loss ​due to unsafe listening practices.

Hearing loss can vary in duration and severity ranging from temporary ​inconveniences to profound deafness. It’s a condition that doesn’t discriminate ​by age, affecting individuals from infancy to adulthood and into old age.

Causes are diverse, including nutritional deficiencies, exposure to loud noises, ​viral infections, diseases like meningitis and chickenpox, traumatic injuries, ​genetic predispositions, and the natural ageing process.

Many people notice their hearing is changing but don’t know what to do or ​simply want to ignore it. Over time they may become increasingly isolated as it is ​easier to stop social activities, like Rotary, rather than feel anxious or fearful of ​looking stupid.

A poster produced by Hearing Ambassadors, a new charity set up by Rotarians to raise awareness of hearing loss.
A poster produced for the Sound Warriors campaign by Hearing Ambassadors.

Posters produced by Hearing Ambassadors, a new charity set up by Rotarians to raise awareness of ​hearing loss.

A few years ago, as people of action, Rotarians in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire decided to do something about it and, with district support, a new charity was born called Hearing Ambassadors.

The charity aims to raise awareness about hearing loss, encourage people to look after their hearing health and provide support and resources for those affected by it including friends, family and colleagues.

In the UK almost half of all 12-35 year olds are exposed to unsafe levels of sounds. The charity’s Sound Warrior initiative targets young people to educate them about the dangers of loud noises and how to prevent hearing loss. Sound Warriors are young people who want to help everyone protect their hearing today to enjoy good listening tomorrow.

If anyone wants to learn more or get involved, visit the websites of Hearing Ambassadors or Sound Warriors, or contact to arrange a talk at your Rotary club or community group.

Together, let’s take a proactive approach to help address a significant health concern affecting millions of people worldwide.

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