Sun | Sep 19, 2021

J’cans urged to take hearing health seriously

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 12:15 AM
Diana Stewart (right), whose child attends Danny Williams School For The Deaf in St Andrew, communicates through sign language ​with Cataleya Sawyers, who is a student at the school.
Diana Stewart (right), whose child attends Danny Williams School For The Deaf in St Andrew, communicates through sign language ​with Cataleya Sawyers, who is a student at the school.

As Jamaica joins the global community in marking World Hearing Day today, the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) is appealing for citizens to take their hearing health seriously.

Coordinator for Hearing Services at the JAD, June Coward-Fearon, noted that poor hearing health has implications for language acquisition and socialisation.

She said that persons should take personal responsibility for their hearing before it is too late.

“We need to stop putting it on the back burner. I am encouraging the public to, as best as possible, have their ears examined, as the ears play an important role in how one communicates and processes information,” she pointed out.

SYMPTOMS

Coward-Fearon said that if the ears are not functioning properly, there are several symptoms persons can experience as a result, including hearing loss, cognitive decline, balance problems, and delayed speech processing.

Heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are some underlying conditions that cause hearing loss.

Director of Business Development of JAD, Deniese Badroe, is also encouraging persons to have their ears examined as part of their regular health checks.

“In the same way that we protect our sight and do check-ups for our eyes and, as may be necessary, wear glasses, we should protect and do check-ups on our hearing and, as required, get any needed hearing devices to protect or assist us,” she said.

World Hearing Day is an annual observance designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world.

This year’s theme is ‘Hearing Care for All’.

Due to restrictions on public gatherings as a result of the pandemic, the JAD’s team will engage with the public through posts on Facebook and other social-media platforms.

JAD Hearing Services is a social enterprise operated under the auspices of the JAD. The entity offers a wide range of screening and diagnostic hearing tests for persons of all ages.

It also provides hearing-health support, including hearing aids and earplugs for swimming or protection against noise.

For further information on ear care, persons can contact the JAD at (876) 970-1778-9.