People of all ages should make themselves aware of preventing noise-induced hearing loss [NIHL].
This was the message at the awareness day held yesterday at the Piazza by GHITA, GHA, the Department of Equality and Health Promotion Team.
Education, Environment and Public Health Minister John Cortes and Chairman of GHITA Edgar Triay emphasised that people needed to realise that hearing loss as a result of noise was actually preventable.
“People’s perception is that deafness is as a result of old age, and yes naturally people lose their hearing with age, but as a result of today’s technology and the culture of night clubs and discos where music sounds loud because it sounds better is making younger generations experience deafness at a younger age,” warned Mr Triay.
Everyone said Professor Cortes needed to ensure their hearing remained healthy.
The stall manned throughout the morning offered advice and also had a series of pamphlets covering a number of issues including tinnitus, why people loose their hearing and noise-induced hearing loss where the main cause of preventable hearing loss is exposure to loud noise.
Mr Triay told the Chronicle that of all the different types of deafness, deafness as a result of noise exposure or loud sound exposure was the only preventable one.
“Our aim is to make people aware because this is very important as deafness incurs a cost for people, not just at a human level, as they can become isolated from the world because of communication barriers, but also monitory wise because it is a very expensive affair buying assisted equipment to help you with your deafness,” he said.
Professor Cortes said that NIHL impaired ones hearing and could trigger off tinnitus and people needed to be aware of this.
“As minister responsible for public health I wholeheartedly support GHITA. I have worked with them before in the GHA. The more people that are aware that noise can affect your hearing will mean that hopefully some people will take the necessary steps to avoid this and use ear protection such as ear plugs in order to not suffer the effects of hearing loss and tinnitus,” he added.
Protection in noisy situations he said should be the rule for everyone, “for young people as well as for older people”.
Working together with all government departments, NGO’s, etc. on such awareness campaigns he felt was important and should continue to be the way forward because it presented a “better result” in the end.
Meanwhile there was a cheque presentation to GHITA of £500 by Arturo Perera from the District Grand Lodge of Gibraltar (English Constitution). It was presented to chairman Edgar Triay, secretary and trustee Jackie Gomez, and trustee Toni Gomez.