[World Hearing Day is just around the corner. On March 3rd this year, be sure to Check Your Hearing! Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and to promote hearing health care across the globe. This year, the main focus is to draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention of hearing loss. So many people live with untreated hearing loss causing them to miss out on so many words, sounds, and engaged conversation. Hearing loss treatment is the first step in addressing your hearing health.
The Importance of World Hearing Day
WHO’s World Hearing Day is the largest global awareness campaign on ear and hearing care that calls to action to address hearing loss. The key aims of the campaign is to promote public health actions, stimulate intersectional partnerships, raise awareness, and encourage behavior change towards hearing care and hearing loss. So why is such a widespread global campaign needed to address hearing loss?
The numbers are quite shocking. Throughout the world, there are 466 million people suffering from disabling hearing loss. Of that total number, 34 million are children and 432 are adults. 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes. WHO estimates that 1.1 billion young people worldwide (aged 12-35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises. If nothing is done, WHO projects that the number of those experiencing hearing loss globally will rise to 900 million by 2050.
Hearing Loss is Preventable
Believe it or not hearing loss is quite preventable. The use of ear plus or noise cancelling ear muffs in extremely loud settings can prevent hearing loss, but there is much more one can do to reduce the risk of hearing loss. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to certain medications or chemicals can cause hearing loss. It is important to consult with your doctor to avoid taking any type of medication that causes hearing loss. Furthermore, infections such as measles, mumps, meningitis, and otitis media are key concerns of hearing loss among children. As a parent, seeking out a healthcare professional to treat these symptoms is vital in preventing potential hearing loss.
But what more can you do as an individual in your community to prevent hearing loss? It is important to learn more about hearing loss and share that information to those within your community and network. Identify where hearing health providers are and guide people on how to access them. You could also know what support groups are available to people in the community or start one yourself to provide a sense of collaboration, inclusion, and awareness. Understanding the widespread causes for hearing loss and taking necessary preventative measures go a long way when it comes to our hearing health.
Early Identification and Treatment is Crucial
Early detection of hearing loss allows for early treatment, which is crucial in minimizing further hearing damage to our ears. Unfortunately, it takes someone with hearing loss an average of 7 years to seek out proper hearing health treatment. With the efforts of the World Health Organization in raising awareness and spreading knowledge about the detrimental impacts of hearing loss globally, hopefully it lessens the time people seek treatment.
Among children, early identification and treatment of hearing loss has shown to improve their linguistic, developmental, and educational achievements. With those youth experiencing deafness, early detection allows for the opportunity for sign language to improve these outcomes. In adults, treating your hearing loss sooner has shown to improve overall well-being. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to social, physical, and cognitive health concerns such as social isolation and depression, physical falls and broken bones, and even dementia.
Don’t wait seven years to seek treatment. Educate yourself, your loved ones, and your community about signs of hearing loss to be able to identify early and seek out the necessary treatment to improve overall hearing health.
Get a Hearing Test Today with Focus Hearing!
Even if you don’t think you’re experiencing any form of hearing loss, it is important to go set up an appointment either on March 3rd, before or after. A hearing test will allow hearing health professionals to gauge your level of hearing health, determine if there is any hearing decline, and take the necessary steps on treating your hearing health. Contact us today at Focus Hearing to schedule a hearing test and consultation!