Cape Hearing Implants (CHi) celebrates World Hearing Day
World Hearing Day is held on the 3rd of March every year. It is aimed to promote hearing health and all its ascpects throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) decides the specific theme every year. This year the theme is: “Check your hearing!” According to the WHO approximately 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss of which 34 million of these are children.
Cape Hearing Implants (CHi), as a collaboration of independent, private healthcare service providers that specialize in implantable hearing solutions, supports this initiative of the WHO. CHi would like to encourage all people to check their hearing annually. It is also important to realize that there are some people who are more prone to the development of hearing loss and deafness than others. These include all patients with ear disease, those working in loud noise, those exposed to recreational noise such as loud music or shooting and adults over the age of 50.
CHi provides a professional and comprehensive service for the identification, surgical implantation and rehabilitation of patients with hearing loss. If you suffer from hearing loss, or would like to have your hearing tested contact CHi.
Neonatal hearing screening
It is important to understand that the concept of “checking your hearing should also be expanded to: “Check your childs hearing”. The prevalence of significant permanent hearing loss in neonates are 1-2 per 100 000 live births. A significant higher number of children suffer temporary and reversible hearing loss. The importance however is that in children, hearing loss will lead to a delay in speech development if not timely addressed. What is even more important is the fact that the period to develop speech and language is limited wherafter even if hearing is restored it would not help. Neonatal hearing screening is the concept where neonates are screened for hearing loss with the sole purpose of early detection of hearing loss. This will lead to timeous intervention and avoid later permanent disability in speech and language development. It is strongly advised that all neonates undergo neonatal hearing screening.
Ear disease and hearing loss
Patients with ear disease are more likely to have hearing loss. Especially those suffering from chronic ear infections are at risk. More than 60% of childhood hearing loss can be prevented. If hearing loss is suspected in a child, it should immediately be examined by a trained audiologist who can then make the necessary recommendations and referrals. CHi is equipped to test hearing in children of all ages. In those children with hearing loss early intervention is of critical importance. Noise exposure and hearing loss Noise exposure in the work environment is a major cause for hearing loss. Not only the intensity of the sound is important but also the time of exposure. The louder the sound, the shorter the time of exposure can lead to hearing loss. Most industries nowadays run annual occupational health checks for hearingloss and institute safety mechanisms such as noise protection. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of people that are exposed daily to harmful noise levels in the workplace.
Hearing loss and ageing
Hearing loss occurs with ageing. In the United States 1 out of 3 persons over the age of 65 suffers from hearing loss. It is suggested to check hearing over the age of 50. Hearing loss may have an insidious onset, with people taking long to realize it. Research has shown an increased risk in patients with hearing loss to develop dementia and early intervention may prevent this.
Smart phones, earphones and hearing loss
It is not known to which extent the use of earphones contributes to hearing loss. Smart phones have become a part of daily life and many users utilize earphones. Using it for extensive periods of time and at load volumes will cause damage to ones hearing on the long run. Users of earphones are encouraged to check their hearing frequently and screening with some of the new apps on hearing loss is a great and practical way to do so. The WHO has developed a mobile and web-based software application for hearing screening called “hearWHO”.