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It is 3 March, and today is the International Day for Ear and Hearing. Quoting the World Health Organisation’s website, “The day aims to raise awareness and promotes community-based activities for ear and hearing health.”

I found it interesting to discover that hearing loss is the most prevalent sensory disability in the world, with 360 million people worldwide (over 5% of the world’s population) having disabling hearing loss. Hearing loss can be the result of ear infections, but can also be noise induced, caused by disease, or simply be an age related impairment.

Excessively loud music and industrial noises can cause significant hearing loss.(© All Rights Reserved)

Excessively loud music and industrial noises can cause significant hearing loss.
(© All Rights Reserved)

Suffering a hearing loss impacts directly on a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.  As such hearing impairment has not only social and emotional impact, but also very real economic impact, on the person suffering from hearing loss.

Where hearing loss does occur, benefit can be derived from devices such as hearing aids, assistive devices and cochlear implants. However, the current production of hearing aids meets less than 10% of the global need.

The most important message on this day is that many of the above-mentioned causes of hearing loss is preventable through actions such as immunization, better health care and sound occupational health practices.

Be aware – protect your precious hearing.

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