CUHK Survey Reveals Hearing Devices Help Hearing Impaired People Improve Quality of Life
Sports activities are beneficial to our physical and mental health. However, many hearing impaired people find it difficult to enjoy sports or group activities as most of the hearing devices are neither water nor sweat-proof and may easily fall off during high-impact or contact sports, thus affecting their physical and mental health, as well as social lives. A survey conducted by The Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) reveals that hearing impaired persons who are more willing to use assistive devices will enjoy more in team sports and group activities which improve their quality of life.
The survey was conducted in May2012 in which 111 people with various degrees of hearing impairment, as well as those with normal hearing were interviewed on their hearing status, use of hearing devices, participation in physical activities in the previous week and self-perceived quality of life. The interviewees were between 14 to 65 years old, 58 (52%) of them participated in physical activities the week before. Their self-perceived quality of life, including aspects of general health, vitality, and physical functioning were higher than the other 53 people (48%) without playing any sports. Their mental health was also found to be 13% higher. Among the 105 interviewees with hearing impairment, those who held more positive attitude towards hearing devices scored 15% higher in the scale of physical functioning.
CUHK discovers that the quality of life among hearing impaired persons is not correlated to their degree of hearing loss nor their age. The factors affecting their quality of life may instead include their participation in physical activities, and their attitude towards using assistive devices.
‘Sports is essential for the health of people of all ages. Persons with hearing impairment should enjoy the fun and benefits of sports,’ said Professor Michael Chi Fai Tong, Head of Academic Divisions, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at CUHK. Integration of hearing impaired youngsters and those with normal hearing in team sports can promote the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and psychosocial development of both groups.
CUHK recommends people with hearing impairment to participate in more sports and group activities. An active lifestyle and a positive attitude towards assistive devices may help improve quality of life.