World Report on Hearing: 1 in 4 People Projected to Have a Hearing Problem by 2050

On March 3 rd , 2021, the World Health Organisation released the first ever World Report on Hearing
to inform people on a global level of the importance of hearing care and what hearing loss will look
like in the future.

The most important statistics from this report show that astonishingly, 1 in 4 people will be living
with some degree of hearing loss in 2050. This means that nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide will
have some difficulties hearing – in only 30 years.

MAIN CAUSE OF HEARING LOSS

One of the main reasons this number is so high is because there is a lack of accurate information and
stigmatised attitudes towards ear health and hearing loss. This limits people from accessing care for
these hearing conditions. Identifying a hearing impairment is the first step in addressing the hearing
loss and any related ear diseases. Therefore it is so important to visit your local hearing care clinic as
early as possible, like EAR STUDIO, to get your hearing assessed to identify if a hearing loss is
present.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT HEARING LOSS?

This report highlighted that most hearing losses in adults can be prevented by safe listening, noise
control and monitoring of medicines that are toxic to the ear, as well as good ear hygiene. For
children, the impact of hearing loss can primarily be reduced by having regular hearing screenings,
immunisations, and appropriate management of ear infections.

When a hearing loss has been diagnosed, intervention and management of the hearing loss is
crucial. If a hearing loss has occurred suddenly, it is vital to see a hearing specialist or medical
professional immediately as hearing may be able to be restored in these situations if action is taken
straight away. Additionally, medical and surgical treatment can cure a variety of ear diseases and can
sometimes reverse an associated ear disease if this is required. At times, hearing loss is irreversible
and hearing rehabilitation is key in these situations to ensure adverse consequences of hearing loss
are avoided. In today’s world, we have access to advanced technology such as hearing aids and
cochlear implants that can benefit an individual when accompanied with appropriate support
services and rehabilitation.

IMPORTANT MESSAGE

This world report on hearing was an important reminder that we need to be more aware of the fact
that our ability to hear is precious. An untreated hearing loss can have a devastating impact on
people’s lives through their inability to communicate, earn an income and sustain relationships.
Today it is estimated that the number of people living with hearing loss in 1 in 6 (which is 17%) and
over the next 30 years this number is set to go up to 1 in 4 which is 25% of the world’s population.
Given the noise-pollution we are subjected to in day-to-day life this is not surprising. Industrial noise
exposure peaked some from the 1950’s onwards and only in the 1990’s hearing protection was
available and used on a large scale. The fact that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has a
section on their website where you can report vehicles with noisy exhausts speaks for itself doesn’t
it? On the road the traffic has increased significantly over the years, construction is booming and
with that there is noise everywhere. Please take care of your hearing!

 

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