About 360 million people, including 32 million children, across the world, or 5.3 percent of the global population, suffer from hearing loss. Learn more facts pertaining to hearing loss and deafness.
Chronic ear infections are the number one cause of hearing loss
With a global prevalence of 1 to 46 percent in developed and developing countries, chronic otitis media (COM) leads to hearing loss and can cause life-threatening complications and mortality.
COM describes a number of signs and symptoms caused by long-term damage to the middle ear by infection and inflammation, including severe retraction or perforation of the eardrum, scarring or erosion of the small sound-conducting bones in the middle ear, chronic or recurring drainage from the ear, inflammation causing erosion of the bony cover or facial nerve, erosion of the bony borders in the middle ear or mastoid, presence of cholesteatoma and persistence of fluid behind the intact eardrum.
Largely preventable, COM can be managed effectively through medical and surgical means.
Noise-induced hearing loss is easily avoidable
Causing concern in developed and developing countries alike, excessive noise has become the most compensated occupational hazard in many countries. Social noise, from music and entertainment devices, increasingly causes hearing damage in adolescents and children across the world.
Using ototoxic medications can cause hearing loss
Common medications like aminoglycosides and anti-malarial drugs can cause irreversible hearing loss. Awareness amongst health-care providers and rational drug use can prevent ototoxicity.
Some children are born with hearing deficits
About 0.5 to 5 of every 1000 infants are born with or develop hearing damage in early childhood. Early detection and management of hearing damage provide support for deaf and hearing-impaired babies and help them enjoy equal opportunities in society.
Hearing loss affects one out of three people over the age of 65
When left untreated, hearing loss negatively affects communication and contributes to social isolation, anxiety, depression and cognitive decline. Age-related hearing loss can be managed effectively through a diverse range of solutions, including hearing aids.
About 20 percent of hearing loss sufferers who need hearing aids live in developing countries
An estimated 56 million people worldwide use hearing aids. Current hearing aid production only meets 3 percent of the need in developing countries, according to estimates.
Sign language is a useful tool
Often utilized by those suffering from deafness, sign languages differ across various cultures, but each sign language consists of its own vocabulary and grammar. Family members, medical professionals, teachers and employers should learn sign language in order to facilitate communication with the deaf and deaf-blind.
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