A pilot project initiated last June offered free hearing tests to persons in 15 localities. During the presentation of the results of the project’s first phase, in which some 400 persons were tested, it was revealed that 51% of the persons had hearing problems.
The President of the Malta Association of Audiologists Andrew Sciberras said that 36% of those with problems work in a noisy environmet and do not use any type of protection. He appealed to people to take care of their hearing from an early age.
“Noise is bad when it is at a certain level….try to protect your ears with ear protection because you cannot regain what you have lost. Even when a concert is somewhat noisy, wear earplugs because they can help”.
Dr Sciberras stated that tests identify infections and tinnitus cases, which are referred for treatment.
Research also showed that 35% have hearing difficulties due to wax and they are given the opportunity for medical treatment by a doctor.
The project, run by the Malta Association of Audiologists in collaboration with the Ministry for Inclusion and Life Quality and MEP Alex Agius Saliba, will resume with the second phase in which another 200 persons are tested.
Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli said the pilot project sends a strong message on the importance of research information because early identification of cases avoids situations that lead to a disability. “This is a strong message to have a better life quality and good inclusion to persons undergoing such tests”.
MEP Alex Agius Saliba said the research result will provide a better lifestyle to those who need assistance and appealed to better awareness among the public to address such problems at an early stage.