IT is World Hearing Day on March 3. Here are some interesting statistics, provided by the World Health Organisation earlier this month, which indicates the need for testing, prevention and treatment.
*360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss (1), and 32 million of these are children.
*Hearing loss may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing.
*60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes.
*1.1 billion young people (aged between 12–35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings.
*Unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of 750 billion international dollars (2). Interventions to prevent, identify and address hearing loss are cost-effective and can bring great benefit to individuals.
*People with hearing loss benefit from early identification; use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices; captioning and sign language; and other forms of educational and social support.