Love your Hearing and check it every year is the take home message of the International Hearing Awareness day celebrated on March 3rd every year. Hearing is the most ignored sense of all the precious senses god has gifted us. Many of hearing impaired individuals are not even aware of their hearing loss till family members start commenting or complaining. These individuals include not only adults but also kids and teenagers.
Lifestyle plays a significant role in the increasing rates of hearing loss among younger population. A daily exposure to full volume video games, loud music concerts, entertainment events and increased use of ear buds and headphones is contributing to these numbers.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates approximately 5 % of world population have a disabling hearing loss. Disabling hearing loss is defined as hearing loss greater than 40 decibels in the better ear. According to 2017 statistics, 460 million individuals worldwide have disabling hearing loss; out of which 34 million are children. 60% of hearing loss occurring in children are of preventable causes. 1.1 billion young people (12-35 yrs) are at risk of developing hearing loss due to noise exposure in recreational settings.
Hearing loss is not visible so difficult to identify and treat. Deaf individuals, unlike blind suffer silent ridicule in social settings leading to depression and social isolation in the near future. Their independence gets affected leading to poorer quality of life. Simple task of communicating becomes a major challenge leading to misunderstanding and loss of confidence.
Family support goes a long way to rehabilitate a person with hearing loss. Encouragement from family members to get annual hearing checkups done goes a long way. Hearing loss can go unnoticed for years unless it becomes really an issue for the family members to communicate with the person.
Prevention is any time better than cure. Being proactive by doing a hearing check up every year can significantly reduce the damage caused to the ears before it becomes too late. Future deterioration of hearing can be prevented through early identification and intervention. Children depend on their hearing for speech and language development in their early developmental years. Even mild hearing loss can make their speech unclear. Academic performance can plummet due to hearing loss. Parents should be aware of their child’s hearing level to take timely care if needed.
Let us all pledge to love our hearing and conserve it for the future. Let’s all get ourselves tested for hearing soon and watch out for hearing loss symptoms early.
Happy Hearing to All!!!