According to the World Health Organization, to date, 360 million people (approximately 5% of the world's population) live with hearing loss that leads to disability. Of these: 32 million - children, 145 million - women, 183 million - men.
The causes and consequences of hearing loss by a person, according to experts, can be reduced to a minimum if they are promptly found out and taken measures. Among children, the prevalence of hearing impairment is 1.7%, among adults - 7%. Almost 90% of deaf and hard of hearing people live in low- and middle-income countries. In countries with high incomes, only 11%.
About 180 million people in the world suffer from hearing loss, making it difficult to understand ordinary spoken language. Deaf and hard of hearing children do not develop speech and social skills since birth, learning is hampered or impossible, self-esteem is impaired, and there is a complex.
The World Health Organization in 1995 adopted a resolution on the prevention of hearing impairment, which expressed concern because of the significant exacerbation worldwide of the problem of deafness that can be avoided. In 2015, stating an increased risk of hearing loss, WHO launched the initiative "Do not expose your hearing danger." In recent years, WHO has developed a strategy for hearing health and programs for the prevention of deafness and hearing loss.
In children at an early age in more than 30% of cases, deafness comes after diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, meningitis and cytomegalovirus infection. They can be prevented through immunization, vaccination and hygiene.
Complications of childbirth
Another 17% of hearing loss in childhood is caused by complications during childbirth: prematurity, low birth weight, birth asphyxia and jaundice of newborns. Protecting the health of mothers and babies will help to avoid these complications and their consequences for hearing. According to medical experts, today, hearing loss among children is preventable by 60%.
Impact of noise
More than 1 billion young people (12 to 35 years) in the world are at increased risk of becoming deaf because of unsafe listening to music in headphones and the impact of loud noises in noisy entertainment establishments (clubs, bars, discos, concerts, sporting events, etc.). This loss of hearing is easily preventable by adjusting the volume of the sound or avoiding noisy places. To listen to music in headphones doctors do not recommend, in extreme cases - very briefly and quietly.
The constant exposure to noise in the workplace often leads to deafness. People who work in factories, construction sites and other noisy places suffer from this. Compliance with the law on noise control in the workplace, in the environment and during leisure can reduce the threat of hearing loss due to the constant exposure to loud sound.
Untreated ear infections
Untreated ear infections are a common cause of hearing loss among children and adults. Studies show that about 330 million people in the world suffer from chronic ear infections, most often chronic otitis media of the middle ear. These infections are usually accompanied by secretions from the ear, lead to deafness and can cause life-threatening complications - meningitis and brain abscess. Annually in the world from complications of otitis media of the middle ear die up to 21 000 people. Early detection and prompt response to ear infections significantly reduce the risk of hearing loss and minimize possible complications.
Another preventable cause of deafness is the use of ototoxic medications (aminoglycosides and some medications for malaria). This can be avoided only with the rational use of ototoxic drugs. Regulation and monitoring of their use reduces the risk of hearing loss.
Source: WHO "Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss" - Read the entire document
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