Sinn Féin MLA for Foyle, Maeve McLaughlin, has called for more investment in dealing with hearing loss.
Speaking at the launch of the ‘Hearing Matters’ report at Stormont, Ms McLaughlin said whilst she welcomed recent developments more needed to be done to help and support people with hearing loss.
“Almost 30,000 people here suffer from hearing loss but it is still a hidden condition in many regards.
“More than 70 per cent of people over 70 experience hearing loss and there is evidence of a strong link between hearing loss and dementia.
“People wait an average of 10 years before seeking help from their GP, often through a fear they will be stigmatised by using a hearing aid,” she said.
Ms. McLaughlin added: “I welcome the fact GP surgeries are now more accessible to people with hearing loss as a result of a fund which allows them to buy hearing loops and other technologies.
“We need to see more investment in dealing with audiology conditions such as hearing loss and tinnitus to prevent these conditions from impacting on people’s quality of life.”