World Hearing Day 2021

 

World Hearing Day takes place each year from the WHO (World Health Organization) to raise awareness of how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and to promote ear and hearing care across the world.  This year, it takes place today, March 3, 2021.  The theme this year is: 

Hearing care for ALL!

Screen. Rehabilitate. Communicate

Good hearing is important for communication -- for sharing thoughts, feelings, instruction, opinions, questions.  It is also important for environmental awareness, such as hearing sounds of nature, oncoming traffic, or the footsteps of a person approaching.  Good hearing is important at all stages of life. 

Some types of hearing loss (such as that resulting from high noise exposure, e.g machinery, gunfire, power tools, loud music) are preventable by the individual.   Some types of hearing loss (such as that resulting from ear infection) are treatable with medication.  Some types of hearing loss (such as that resulting from middle ear bone problems) are correctable with surgery.  Some types of hearing loss (such as that resulting from aging) are not correctable but are treatable with hearing aids or implants. 

We have come a long way in the prevention, treatment, and correction of hearing loss and ear disease.  If you or a loved one has concerns about hearing, please see an audiologist for a hearing test to evaluate hearing.   If you have concerns about medical ear problems, please see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist.  There are usually solutions to help!

Here are some Key Facts from the World Health Organization website https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/deafness-and-hearing-loss
  • Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss (1), and 34 million of these are children.
  • It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.
  • 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 aging.
  • 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 US$ 750 billion. 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.
  • Current estimates suggest an 83% gap in hearing aid need and use, i.e., only 17% of those who could benefit from use of a hearing aid actually use one.

The WHO World Hearing Day 2021 is launching its first-ever World Report on Hearing today.   Take a look at their website (see above).  This campaign is significant because hearing loss affects people of all ages (from newborns to seniors), from all walks of life, in all countries.   

Free online hearing screening today /online-hearing-test/

If you have concerns about your hearing or that of a loved one, please call us to schedule an appointment for hearing testing, at 203-754-5141.


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Dr. Kay Yanagisawa, is an audiologist at the Easterseals Center for Better Hearing, she practices primarily in the Waterbury location.