Eye health and hearing loss
There are an estimated 6,020 people in Rochdale borough living with some degree of sight loss (Royal National Institute for the Blind, 2016). As many as 32,300 adults in the borough have some form of hearing loss (National Community Hearing Association, 2016).
Eye health and sight loss risk factors and health impacts
In England over 1.5 million people are living with sight loss. Those who are blind or partially sighted often face barriers in their daily lives such as in work, education, travel, leisure and in the built environment. These and other issues can significantly impact on their health, wellbeing and independent living (England Vision Strategy, 2018). It's estimated that partial sight and blindness in adults costs the UK economy around £22 billion per year.
Many long term conditions, such as diabetes and dementia, pose a significant risk to eye health. The projected increase in the elderly population and the number of people with multiple long term conditions has a knock on effect on long term planning for eye care (NHS England, 2014).
Impacts of hearing loss
Humans depend on hearing and communication to survive and thrive. Reduced hearing can make it difficult to communicate and hear important sounds such as traffic. For the majority of people the main difficulties that arise from a reduced hearing ability are social. We generally expect others to hear and understand us, so when we are unable to hear and participate in conversations as expected, it can put us at a disadvantage socially, professionally and psychologically.
Hearing also connects us to each other and this means that our reduction in hearing can impact the people we communicate with. This is why, if left unaddressed, reduced hearing can have a real impact on general health and wellbeing (National Community Hearing Association, 2016).
Statistics on eyes health and hearing loss
- Royal National Institute of Blind People – Sight loss data tool - this data tool provides information about blind and partially sighted people and those at risk of sight loss at a local level throughout the UK.
- National Community Hearing Association – Hearing Map - the National Community Hearing Association hearing map has been produced to improve awareness about hearing needs throughout the UK, and to help plan efficient, effective and sustainable models of hearing care. It includes prevalence estimates for those affected grouped by age and sex.
Information and guidance on eye health and hearing loss
- Thomas Pocklington Trust – Research and Guidance - the Thomas Pocklington Trust is a national charity dedicated to delivering positive change for people with sight loss.
National Institute of Health and Social Care Excellence (NICE) guidance - NICE has produced a number of documents that cover ear and eye conditions including hearing loss, assessment and management and age related sight loss, also known as macular degeneration.
NHS Choices - the NHS Choices website has information on blindness and vision loss and hearing loss including symptoms and treatment: