The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released their first-ever World Report on Hearing. In the report, they estimate that as many as 2.5 billion people in the world – about one in four – will have hearing loss by the year 2050.
About the Report
The purpose of the World Report on Hearing is to highlight the challenges current health care systems face when dealing with hearing loss, shine light on the stigma surrounding hearing loss and provide accurate information about the disorder.
The report also indicates that low-income countries are especially at risk. This is due to lack of specialists:
- 78% of these countries have less than one ENT specialist per million people.
- 93% have less than one audiologist per million people.
- 13% have one or more speech therapist per million people.
- 50% have one or more teacher for the deaf per million people.
What the Authors Have to Say
In a statement by the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus explains, “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.”
“This new report outlines the scale of the problem, but also offers solutions in the form of evidence-based interventions that we encourage all countries to integrate into their health systems as part of their journey towards universal health coverage,” he continues.
Common Causes of Hearing Loss
In many cases, hearing loss can be prevented. In fact, nearly 60% of hearing loss cases in children can be prevented through immunization, maternal and neonatal care, and screening/treatment of middle ear infections.
Hearing loss in adults can be effectively prevented by avoiding loud noises, wearing hearing protection, listening through headphones safely, practicing good ear hygiene and monitoring ototoxic medications.
So next time you attend a concert at The Forum, be sure to wear earplugs. For more information about hearing loss or to schedule a hearing test, call the hearing experts at The House Institute Hearing Health Centers today.