March 3, 2018 is World Hearing Awareness Day! This day was founded by the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote awareness and prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss. The WHO focuses on early identification and treatment of hearing loss as well as hearing conservation (preventing acquired hearing loss). Here are some facts borrowed from the WHO website:
In 2012, WHO released new estimates on the magnitude of disabling hearing loss based on a review of 42 studies carried out up to 2010. The estimates are as follows (click here to see more facts from WHO):
There are 360 million persons in the world with disabling hearing loss (5.3% of the world's population)
328 million (91%)of these are adults (183 million males, 145 million females)
32 million (9%) of these are children
The prevalence of disabling hearing loss in children is greatest in South Asia, the Asia Pacific coast, and Sub-Saharan Africa
Approximately one-third of persons over 65 years are affected by disabling hearing loss
The prevalence of disabling hearing loss in adults over 65 years is highest in South Asia, Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa
For the purposes of this research, “disabling hearing loss” is defined as 40dB or greater for adults and 30dB or greater for children as shown in the chart above. Hearing loss can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired, and it can affect one or both ears. Perhaps the most obvious side effect of hearing loss is a person’s reduced ability to understand or communicate with others. This is especially troublesome for children during speech-language development and cognitive development. For adults, understanding in the workplace may be a concern as well as the potential for cognitive decline, as referenced in my previous blog “Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline”.
To schedule a hearing evaluation for you or a loved one, contact Dr. Shannon Parker at Compass Hearing Center in Denver City, Texas.