Human beings are hardwired to be social creatures and thrive on human interaction. We are known to value connectedness and rightly so, as evidence has shown that social interaction results in improved health outcomes and wellbeing.1 In order to communicate effectively and develop these social ties, the sense of hearing is essential. Unfortunately, individuals who suffer from hearing loss are often deprived of enjoying the sounds of laughter, music, nature or conversations with family and friends and as a result, are unable to develop these social ties.
We often think that the only negative effect associated with hearing loss is the inability to hear various sounds. This is sadly not the case. You may have noticed a loved one with hearing loss, slowly withdraw from conversation and social interaction. This is due to the fact that they are unable to hear and partake in conversation. As a result, we often watch our loved one become isolated, which may eventually lead to depression and cognitive decline.2 In order to prevent these negative effects, it is important to identify hearing loss as early as possible.
By identifying hearing loss early, intervention can take place as soon as possible so that better hearing can be ensured. Research has shown that better hearing results in improved academic performance, better communication in relationships, emotional stability, improved independence, increased confidence and an overall improved quality of life.3 In addition, better hearing can prevent the negative effects associated with hearing loss. Unfortunately, due to the high costs normally associated with audiological testing, hearing loss in many individuals is not identified and therefore, intervention is unable to take place. This is however, a problem that is slowly dissipating thanks to an innovative company who strives to ensure that hearing healthcare is accessible and affordable to all.
hearX Group has developed a mobile-based application, hearScreen®, which is a hearing screening test allowing early identification of hearing loss at a fraction of the cost. This mobile-based application has been developed in such a user friendly way that it allows lay persons with little to no audiological knowledge to conduct a hearing screening. Due to the affordability, mobility and user friendliness of hearScreen®, more individuals with hearing loss can be identified so that intervention can take place as soon as possible. This will ensure better hearing in order to improve these individuals’ overall quality of life by reconnecting them to their loved ones and the life they once lived.