Tipp TDs Lent Support To National Hearing Care Plan Campaign

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Tipperary TDs have lent their support to a campaign to develop a national hearing care plan which will strengthen state support for those dealing with hearing loss.

The initiative will also provide a clear pathway on how people can address hearing loss and ensure a regulatory framework for the hearing aid sector.

Deputies Martin Browne and Jackie Cahill backed the campaign by Chime, the national charity for deaf and hard of hearing people, at a hearing screening event for Oireachtas members at Leinster House.

A high rate of unmanaged hearing loss is contributing to increased cases of dementia, depression and social isolation, the charity has claimed.

Chime says the lack of a Department of Health national hearing care plan places ever-increasing strain on already over-stretched services dealing with dementia, depression and isolation.

It estimates unmanaged hearing loss is the cause of 50,000 cases of depression in Ireland. 

Currently, the HSE provides hearing aids to medical card holders and those aged up to 18, just 25% of those who may need them according to Chime which adds that depending on location, waiting times can be as long as three years. Chime says over 300,000 Irish adults require some form of hearing aid.