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Author: admin, 23.09.2015
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that an estimated 40 per cent of hearing loss is attributable to genetic causes and 31 per cent to infections such as measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis. A new report by the world health body on ‘Childhood hearing loss: act now, here’s how’, said that nearly 32 million children across the world lived with disabling hearing loss but 60 per cent of this hearing loss could be prevented. It also highlighted that if hearing loss was detected early enough, and if children receive the care they need, they could reach their full potential. This is coming ahead of the World Hearing Day, an annual day which is marked on March 3 and aimed at raising awareness and promoting ear and hearing care across the world.
Dr Etienne Krug, Director of the WHO Department for Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention, said “A child who struggles to hear may also struggle to learn to speak.
The report which said that majority of childhood hearing loss could be prevented, showed that there were many causes of childhood hearing loss.
It also said that 17 per cent of childhood hearing loss was due to complications at birth, including prematurity, low birth weight and neonatal jaundice. In addition, an estimated 4 per cent of it resulted from expectant mothers and new-borns unknowingly using medicines that are harmful to hearing.
The world health body advised that preventing childhood hearing loss required immunising children against diseases and regulating certain medicines and noise levels are vital. More than 360 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss, and ear infections are found to be the leading cause, according to the new global estimates on prevalence released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO estimates, released for International Ear Care Day observed on March 3, say nearly 32 million affected by hearing loss are children under 15, especially in low and middle-income countries. Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists in Bangalore, who stress on screening newborns, say infectious diseases such as rubella, meningitis, measles and mumps, most of which can be prevented through vaccination, can also lead to hearing loss. The other common causes that can damage hearing include exposure to excessive noise, injuries to the ear or head, ageing, genetic causes, problems during pregnancy and childbirth and certain medications, the doctors say.
Those whose hearing is damaged as an aftermath of measles, mumps and meningitis and hearing loss caused due to degeneration of nerves in the elderly cannot be reversed. This is very good information as I suffered from this infection and feeling the pain for late reacting. After a two-year delay, the underground corridor of Namma Metro was finally inaugurated amid much fanfare and excitement. Hearing loss can affect a childa€™s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (for example, crawling and walking).
But, this does not have to happen; we have a range of tools to help prevent, detect and treat childhood hearing loss,” Krug said.

Advising people not to use ear buds, pins or any other invasive objects to clean ears, he said ear buds can push wax towards the eardrum, cause skin infections within the ear and also rupture the eardrum. Medikeri said exposure to a cold blast of air into the ear (it can happen when a person is travelling in cold weather and the window of the vehicle is open) or suffer a viral infection can develop sudden hearing loss.
Many can be treated through early diagnosis as well as suitable interventions such as surgically implanted hearing devices.
Kaushik advises people to seek immediate medical advice if they feel any sensation of a blocked ear, ear heaviness or abnormal noises in the ear.
Advising people to protect their ears, especially while travelling, he said such sudden hearing loss can be reversed if diagnosed within 48 hours. If you are a parent and you suspect your child has hearing loss, trust your instincts and speak with your childa€™s doctor.

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