Dr R Zhimatho
ENT Specialist, NHAK, Nagaland.
World Hearing Day is held on 3rd march each year to raise awareness on how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care across the world. Department of Health and Family Welfare Nagaland under the programme, NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF DEAFNESS (NPPCD) also observes this day along with the rest of the country.
The theme for this year is”Check your Hearing.” WHO will draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realize that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Checking one’s hearing would be the first step towards addressing the issue.
The key message for this event include
All people should check their hearing from time to time, specially those who are at a higher risk of hearing such as adults above 50 years, those working in noisy places , those listening to music at high volumes for long period of time and those experiencing ear problem
Services for early identification and intervention should be made available through health system.
On 3rd March 2019 WHO will launch a free app that allows people to check their hearing. The Hear WHO app will be used to
Raise awareness about the importance of hearing.
Encourage people to check their hearing regularly and practice safe listening.
Allow health workers to check the hearing status of people in their communities.
Ways to prevent hearing loss.
Hearing loss cannot always be prevented sometimes its just part of getting older. But hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises is completely avoidable.
Avoid loud noises. The best way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss is to keep away from loud noise as much as you can.
Take care when listening to music. Listening to loud music through earphones or headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. Do not listen to music more than 60% of the maximum volume. Do not use earphones or headphones for more than an hour at a time. Take a break for at least 5 minutes every hour.
Protect your hearing during loud events and activities, such as sports events, nightclubs by wearing earplugs that reduce the volumes of music.
Take precaution at work. If you are exposed to loud noise through your work, make sure you wear any hearing protection you are given.
The importance of hearing.
It is important to be aware of hearing loss as it effects everyday life and gets worse with age in all adults.
Many people with learning disabilities do not have their hearing checked, and families or carers often struggle to notice hearing problems.
Large numbers of older people with learning disabilities were found to have hearing problems, but smaller numbers were aware of this before testing.
Everyone with learning disabilities should be aware of how important hearing is and have regular checks, especially before they reach old age.
Today, nearly one in two people over the age of 50 have difficulty understanding what people say in busy environments. As our hearing usually changes slowly over the years, a hearing loss can be quite difficult to recognise, while some sounds might still be easy to hear, other can become increasingly hard to make out. Knowing more about what to be aware of will help you monitor your own reactions, If you find yourself saying “ What did you say?” or “ Sorry could you say that again? “ you will know that it is time to take action. People get their teeth and eye checked regularly, so why not check your ears too?.