Hearing loss affects people of all ages around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released their first-ever World Report on Hearing to highlight the challenges facing the care of hearing loss and bring attention to the stigmatization of this condition.
Updated Hearing Loss Numbers
According to the new report, WHO estimates that by 2050 about 2.5 billion people across the world will have developed some degree of hearing loss, and 700 million of those individuals will be diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss that requires intervention.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, put out a statement to go along with the report. He 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.”
Ghebreyesus continues, “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.”
Ghebreyesus and the rest of the team behind the report hope their work can expose the need for providers across the world to increase their efforts to prevent and treat hearing loss.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Prevention is the best course of action when it comes to hearing loss. Experts estimate that 60% of all hearing loss diagnosed in children could have avoided through:
- Maternal and neonatal care.
- Screening for and management of middle ear infections.
Adults can avoid hearing loss by monitoring their exposure to noise, implementing safe listening practices, practicing good ear hygiene and monitoring their use of ototoxic medications. If you have to attend a show at the ACL Live, it is important that you wear earplugs while enjoying the music.
How to Treat Hearing Loss
For those whose hearing loss cannot be prevented, it should at least be promptly treated. In order to identify hearing loss early, which yields the best outcomes, WHO recommends periodic clinical hearing screenings for hearing loss and ear disease.
If a hearing loss is identified, treatment options include medical or surgical intervention, hearing aids or cochlear implants.
In order to learn more about preventing and treating hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Victory Hearing & Balance Center today.