According to the World Health Organisation(WHO), almost 2.5 billion people across the world will suffer from mild to severe levels of hearing loss by 2050. Without immediate intervention almost 700 million of these will require access to ear and hearing care.
In most countries, health-care does not integrate ear and hearing care into national health systems and accessing good hearing care isn’t easy for some where available.
Reasons for poor hearing suggested by the WHO
One of the main reasons for poor hearing care is the absence of precise information and stigma around hearing loss. Added to this there is paucity of knowledge among the care providers about early identification and management ear disease.
Among children too, immunization for prevention of rubella and meningitis, improved maternal and neonatal care, and screening for, and early management of, otitis media – inflammatory diseases of the middle ear can prevent upto 60% of hearing loss.
Noise pollution is another major cause of hearing loss in adults and children, and controlled decibel levels, safe listening and surveillance of ototoxic medicines together with good ear hygiene can help maintain good hearing and reduce the potential for hearing loss.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General opines that “Our ability to hear is precious. Untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on people’s ability to communicate, to study and to earn a living. It can also impact on people’s mental health and their ability to sustain relationships,”
Source : World Health Organisation