Survey | Hearing health knowledge is ‘insufficient’

The Healthy Macau Association released the results of a survey conducted between January and February, which indicates that more than half of the surveyed local residents regarded themselves as having hearing problems.

The survey released yesterday, which was done as an online questionnaire, collected 513 contributions. The interviewees were approximately 70 percent female and 30 percent male.

About 40 percent of the interviewees were aged between 31 to 60 years old, and about 30 percent between 18 to 30 years old. People aged above 60 years old accounted for approximately 25 percent.

Close to 60 percent of the interviewees consider themselves to have tinnitus problems. Also, nearly 60 percent believe that someone in their family or group of friends has hearing problems.

Even though the survey indicates that more than half of the interviewees think they have hearing problems, only a few people are willing to take hearing tests.

“Their knowledge about hearing health is insufficient,” vice president of the association Virginia Kong said, adding that only 24 percent of the interviewees expressed their willingness to test their hearing ability. Kong also mentioned that in a recent survey conducted in Hong Kong, similar to the aforementioned one, 35 percent of the interviewed Hong Kong people had taken some form of hearing test in the past.

The Macau survey showed that the interviewed residents had a vague understanding of hearing loss.

“Approximately 60 percent of [the interviewed] Macau people consider that elders being able to hear but unable to understand is normal,” revealed Gloria Sio, an audiometrician who was present during the announcement of the report yesterday.

Sio explained that such a situation should not be deemed normal because one third of the people older than 65 years old suffer from middle or high level hearing loss.

According to the survey, many of the interviewees showed different stances regarding wearing glasses and wearing occupational deafness compensation boards.

“More than 90 percent of the interviewees said that they are willing to wear glasses if they become near-sighted. However, only a bit more than 70 percent are willing to wear occupational compensation boards if they end up having hearing problems,” said Sio.

Sio noted, in the end, that 98 percent of the interviewees look forward to seeing the government promoting free hearing test services.

Both Kong and Sio reminded the public to pay close attention to their hearing problems as the city’s noisy transportation might affect their hearing ability.

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