Celebrate with the World Health Organization (WHO) for World Hearing Day in just 5 days on March 3rd. You can do so by scheduling an appointment to get your hearing tested! Each year on this date, WHO raises awareness on how to prevent hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. This year they draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Across the globe, many people live with unidentified hearing loss that impacts their overall well-being. Get your hearing tested today would be the first step towards addressing the issue!
Hearing Loss is a Global Health Concern
Many of us may not realize that hearing loss is such a severe concern, but in fact, 466 million people across the world are living with debilitating hearing loss, which not only negatively impacts their hearing health, but overall health as well. Out of this number, 34 million of these are children. What is most surprising though is that 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes. Despite this, WHO estimates that 1.1 billion young people in the world between the ages of 12-35 are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises. Interventions to prevent hearing loss are not only cost-effective but also bring a great benefit to individuals facing or are at-risk of hearing loss.
Causes and Signs of Hearing Loss
A person with hearing loss is not able to hear as well as someone with normal hearing. The severity of hearing loss varies from mild hearing loss to moderate to severe hearing loss. The causes for hearing loss are quite vast and vary depending on if you’re a child, adult, or elderly person. Among newborns, causes of hearing loss can be attributed to hereditary family history, infections during pregnancy, premature birth, and lack of oxygen at birth, amongst other roots. In younger children and adults, hearing loss could stem from measles, mumps, meningitis, and ear infections. Furthermore, use of particular medication or injury to the ear or head may cause hearing decline. The most prominent cause though is noise induced –being exposed to loud sounds for too long in any setting. When it comes to the elderly, the normal ageing process is linked to aural decay. Other common health issues among seniors like high blood pressure or diabetes are also correlated to hearing loss.
Hearing loss is often considered invisible as it is not visibly identifiable as other health concerns. So how and when should we suspect hearing loss? With children, there are several things to look out for in identifying hearing loss. If your child doesn’t respond to sounds, cannot understand what you’re saying, having improper or delayed linguistic or speech development, or has repeated ear infections, seek out a hearing health professional as these may be indicators of hearing decline. Similarly, adults who have trouble comprehending words, phrases or conversations may be facing some form of hearing loss. Other signs include: ringing sensation in the ear (tinnitus) asking people to constantly repeat themselves or speak louder, and turning up the volume at extremely high levels.
Knowing these causes and signs are crucial in being to identify hearing loss early on and to be able to seek out treatment to improve your hearing health needs!
Hearing Loss Prevention and Intervention
Believe it or not, preventing hearing loss is very possible. Gaining more knowledge about hearing loss provides you with the tolls to prevent hearing loss. The following preventative measures help you and those around you mitigate potential hearing loss. Using hearing protection, either earplugs or earmuffs, when you find yourself in extremely noisy conditions decreases the chances of hearing loss. Never should you insert a foreign object, even cotton swabs, into the inner ear canal, as it may puncture your sensitive inner ear. Be sure to check any type of medication that may be harmful to your ears, and in the case of ear infections or pain, seek out a hearing health professional immediately.
Regardless of your occupation, profession, or role in society, you can contribute to raising awareness about hearing loss and how to prevent it. You can also promote early diagnosis and specialized care to those in your community as well as ensure access to hearing devices and communication and rehabilitative services by referring those you know to hearing health professionals.
Get Your Hearing Tested with Desert Valley Audiology Today!
Join the World Health Organization celebrate World Hearing Day on March 3rd by promoting early identification and intervention of hearing health. Talk to your loved ones, friends, and community about the realities of hearing loss and encourage them to take the necessary steps to addressing their own hearing health. Make a commitment today by scheduling an appointment for a hearing test with Desert Valley Audiology.