Hearing New Zealand and its 23 Branches throughout New Zealand have today announced their focus for Hearing Awareness Week which runs from Sunday 1st to Saturday 7th March.

Hearing Awareness Week is an extension of World Hearing Day which is held on 3 March annually and this year, Hearing New Zealand have chosen the theme “Make Listening Safe” to fall in line with the organisation’s overall shifting focus on education, particularly amongst youth.

Around 800,000 Kiwis suffer from some degree of hearing loss with the largest percentage
caused by noise-induced hearing loss – which is completely preventable. Hearing
Association’s National President, Tony Rush says “there is great need for education around
noise-induced hearing loss and how to protect hearing. We live in an increasingly noisy world and with technology now being such a huge part of our everyday lives, we don’t even notice the irreversible effect that our daily technology consumption may be having on our hearing.”

In order to raise vital funds for the increasing number of education projects for 2020 and future years, the charity has introduced Silent Breakfast events which will take place during Hearing Awareness Week. Each branch will be holding their own Silent Breakfast around the country which they encourage the public to attend. However, any individuals, schools, workplaces or community groups are also invited to hold their own Silent Breakfast and donate the money raised to their local hearing association.

Rush says “we have a number of projects planned in 2020 including running the Dangerous
Decibels training in schools around the country which will see us educate thousands of young people about how to keep their hearing safe in a fun and engaging way. We will also be visiting a number of music festivals where we will be giving out free ear plugs and encouraging people to protect their hearing in noisy environments. In order to make these projects happen, we need the financial backing to fund them.”

Hearing loss is a growing issue and the World Health Organisation estimates the number of
young people experiencing hearing loss to grow due to the prevalence of noise-induced
hearing loss.

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