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Video: Protect Your Hearing
Protect your hearing
Hearing loss is the most common form of sensory disability. More than 466 million people worldwide suffer from this. And by 2050, according to WHO estimates, their number could double. The reason for this is the aging of the population, as well as the fascination of young people with audio equipment. According to doctors, about half of all cases of hearing impairment can be prevented by eliminating their causes.
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Hearing loss is considered the most common form of sensory disability, affecting more than 466 million people worldwide. According to WHO estimates, their number may exceed 630 million by 2030 and double by 2050. The reason for this is the aging of the population, as well as the fascination of young people with audio equipment. Doctors sound the alarm: due to prolonged listening to music with unsafe volume levels in headphones, hearing impairment is progressing among adolescents 12-17 years old. According to doctors, about half of all cases of deafness and other hearing impairments can be prevented by eliminating their causes.
There are more than 13 million people with hearing impairments in Russia, including over a million children and adolescents. Moreover, 10 years ago in our country there were about 10 million deaf and hard of hearing. Such data were given by experts at a press conference dedicated to World Hearing Day, which this year is dedicated to early prevention and is held under the slogan: "Check your hearing!"
Hearing loss is a serious problem not only for individuals and their families. According to WHO estimates, this disability costs the global economy $ 750 billion annually. In particular, the costs of the healthcare system are increasing, and labor productivity is decreasing. At the same time, treatment, including costly cochlear implantation, is ultimately cost-effective across the country.
Among the traditional causes of this disease: genetic disorders, chronic ear infections, trauma (including in childbirth), ortotoxic effects of certain drugs. However, according to WHO estimates, about 1.1 billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to external influences. And if earlier such factors were associated with noisy industries, today music in headphones, discos, concerts in stadiums and sports matches are destroying the auditory nerve. In Russia, about 30% of schoolchildren suffer from hearing impairments for the same reason. In 2015, WHO launched the Campaign Don't Put Your Hearing in Danger! in order to draw attention to these risks.
Regular exposure to loud sounds is a serious risk of permanent hearing loss. Particularly dangerous are the so-called vacuum headphones, which are inserted deep into the ears, which makes the eardrums suffer more, said Professor Georgy Tavartkiladze, director of the Russian Scientific and Clinical Center for Audiology and Hearing Prosthetics, FMBA Russia. And vibration aggravates such harm. When headphones are used on subway trains, it is “a disaster,” the expert said. According to him, the aggressive effects of high-intensity sound even affect the intrauterine development of the child.
Without harm to your hearing, you can listen to music with a volume of no more than 110 decibels for no more than 10 minutes. You can check the volume by installing a special application on your mobile phone. In addition, doctors advise parents to ensure that dirty water does not get into the child's ears, do not spank the child, especially on the ears, and teach children not to insert foreign objects into their ears.
Early detection of the disease and timely medical intervention can significantly reduce the severity of the problem of hearing loss, said Melita Vujnovich, WHO representative in the Russian Federation. According to her, now the WHO is discussing with the Russian side the introduction of mass hearing screening into the School Medicine program.
Today in Russia there is a screening program for children in order to identify and treat congenital hearing impairments or hereditary hearing loss with late onset. And, according to Tavartkiladze, the first stage of screening is very well established - it covers 98% of newborns. Every year in Russia 1-2 children are born with deafness out of every thousand babies. In 2018, there were more than 1.5 thousand such newborns. At the same time, 1.2 thousand cochlear implants are purchased annually in Russia for free assistance to such children. “That is, although we do not cover all needs, we are close to this,” the professor noted, adding that timely implantation allows babies to develop on a par with healthy peers.
However, with the second stage of screening, the situation is worse - children do not reach the diagnostic centers. And within the framework of the School Medicine program, it would be easier to identify and treat major diseases, to provide affordable rehabilitation for children. According to Tavartkiladze, 60% of hearing impairments in children could be prevented. And for those who have developed hearing impairments - help using modern methods of treatment and means of technical rehabilitation. The country needs universal audiological screening, experts say.
“Hearing should be checked in the first month, and then in the first year of a child's life, in kindergarten, necessarily at school, necessarily in noisy industries, in people over 60. Then it will be possible to speak about one hundred percent coverage,”explained Tavartkiladze.
Melita Vujnovic also recalled the risks of older people: age-related hearing impairment begins to develop after 50 years. Most often this is the so-called senile hearing loss (presbycusis). Therefore, it is so important at this age to have your hearing checked every year. You can also test hearing in adults yourself - using the HearWHO software application developed by WHO. It is available for free download and use on Android and iOS devices. “This is a simple test based on proven digit-in-noise technology. HearWHO is a free application, it can be used by adults who regularly monitor their hearing, as well as healthcare professionals - to test the hearing of the population,”explained the WHO representative.
According to the representative of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf, Alexander Ivanov, today the organization is engaged in educational work in the interests of healthy people, holds the events "Take care of your hearing!" “Being in a situation where we are deprived of the ability to normally understand the world around us, we, like no one else, understand what kind of wealth it is - hearing. And healthy people need to appreciate this wealth - they take care of their hearing, understand that they need to take care of children, think about the elderly,”Ivanov says.
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