360 million people in the world live with deafness/hearing loss

360 million people in the world live with deafness/hearing loss

As per the statistics of the World Health Organization, 360 million people around the globe, which equals 5% of the population, suffer from effects of hearing loss. Ear infections, typically accompanied by discharge from the ear, can lead to hearing loss and may even cause dangerous complications like meningitis and brain abscesses.

A higher prevalence of hearing during childhood is associated with lower levels of development. Early detection of hearing impairments are important components of
support for deaf or hearing-impaired babies. Each type of hearing loss has several distinct causes. Exposure to loud noise is a common reason for hearing loss. Ear infections are also a common reason, as are genetics, birth defects, and reaction to drugs.

There are three types of hearing loss or deafness:

1.      Conductive (involves outer or middle ear)
2.      Sensorineural (involves inner ear)
3.      Mixed (a combination of the two)

Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises both add to hearing loss. Different factors, like excessive earwax, can temporarily reduce the conductivity of sounds. There are various causes of each kind of hearing loss.

Causes of conductive hearing loss:
·        Wax build-up
·        Infections of the ear canal or middle ear
·        Scarring of the eardrum
·        Abnormal growths or tumors
·        Dislocation of the middle ear bones
·        Foreign object in the ear canal
·        Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear or Otosclerosis

Causes of sensorineural hearing loss:
·        Aging
·        Damage
·        Excessive noise exposure
·        Viral infections
·        Diabetes
·        Stroke
·        High fever or elevated body temperature
·        Smoking
·        Hypertension
·        Meningitis

Signs and symptoms people suffering from deafness may show include:
·        Muffling of speech and other sounds.
·        Difficulty understanding words during a conversation, especially against background noise.
·        Trouble hearing consonants.
·        Frequently requesting others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.
·        The need to turn up the volume of the television or radio.
·        Withdrawal from conversations.

Impact of hearing loss:
·        The principal impacts of hearing loss are on the person's ability to communicate with others. Language development is often delayed in kids with unaddressed hearing loss.
·        Hearing loss and ear diseases can have an adverse effect on the life of an individual.
·        Exclusion from conversations can impact everyday life, causing feelings of loneliness, dejection, isolation, and frustration, particularly among older individuals.
·        Kids with hearing loss and deafness rarely receive any schooling.
·        Adults with hearing loss do not have many employment opportunities. Among those who are employed, a higher percentage in the lower grades of employment.

Preventive measures:
It is suggested that hearing loss can be prevented through general health measures. Some simple measures for prevention of hearing loss include:

·        Vaccinating children against childhood diseases such as measles, meningitis, and rubella
·        Following healthy ear care practices
·        Reducing exposure to loud sounds by raising awareness about the dangers by developing and enforcing relevant legislation;
·        Encouraging individuals to use devices such as earplugs and noise-canceling headphones.
·        Implementing the global standard for audio systems.
·        Referring infants with a family history of deafness or those born with low birth weight, jaundice, for early assessment of hearing,
·        Educating the population in general on hearing loss, its causes, prevention, and identification.

Awareness is a way of prevention. Early detection and intervention will help in minimizing the impact of hearing loss. People with hearing loss can benefit from the use of hearing aids and other assistive devices.

Patients who suspect something is wrong with their hearing should consult a doctor.
At Pulse clinic, the patients are given proper guidance and treatment depending on the severity of their deafness. With a physical examination and various tests, it becomes easy to determine the type of hearing loss. Pulse clinic provides the best available treatment for people with all types of hearing loss.

Visit us at Pulse Clinic for more information.


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