Sunday August 25, 2019

Brett Lee: Hearing Loss is Curable

Identifying children with hearing loss at birth can ensure treatment and save them from further deterioration such as deficit in hearing, understanding speech, speaking and language deficits

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Brett Lee: Hearing Loss is Curable
Brett Lee: Hearing Loss is Curable. (IANS)

Creating awareness about Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS), former Australian cricket sensation Brett Lee on Wednesday said hearing loss is treatable and early screening and intervention can ensure a normal life for children with profound hearing loss.

“No one in this world deserves to live in silence. People should know that hearing loss is treatable and that it should not prevent a person from leading an active, full life. Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) can help address these issues early in life,” Lee told reporters here.

The former pacer is also the Global Hearing Ambassador with global implantable hearing aid firm Cochlear.

“There is an urgent need of making the ‘new-born screen test’ for hearing mandatory as well as for educating parents of children with hearing loss so that they make the best intervention at the earliest,” said Lee, who began spearheading the cause of hearing loss three years ago, in the wake of an accident that temporarily impaired his son’s hearing.

Deafness, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), refers to the complete loss of hearing ability in one or both ears, while “hearing impairment” refers to both complete and partial loss of hearing ability. Nearly 360 million people, nearly one-tenth of them children, suffer from hearing loss worldwide.

“About one lakh children born in India every year suffer from severe to profound hearing loss. Overall the figure may be 10 lakhs,” Shalabh Sharma, ENT surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, told IANS.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Identifying children with hearing loss at birth can ensure treatment and save them from further deterioration such as deficit in hearing, understanding speech, speaking and language deficits, Sharma said.

“If children are tested as soon as they are born and get diagnosed with mild to moderate loss, then within a few months (0-6 months) they can be fitted with hearing aids and the children can live normal life like their peers,” he noted.

Besides, screening of the newborns, parents need to intervene at the slightest suspicion about their child’s ability to hear. A hearing test is cheap and readily available at various audiology and hearing test clinics.

Also Read: Smoking may up risk of hearing loss

Hearing loss occurs due to a number of reasons such as genetic; infections such as measles, mumps, rubella and meningitis; complications at birth, including prematurity, low birth weight and neonatal jaundice; and because of in-vitro exposure to some harmful medicines that expectant mothers use.

While UNHS has been made mandatory in developed countries such as the US, Europe and Australia, India has still not included it in the list of health screening procedures for the newborns, Sharma said.

Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass the damaged hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea) to provide sound signals to the brain.

The implant electrodes stimulate the cochlea’s hearing nerve, which then sends the impulses to the brain where they are interpreted as sound. (IANS)

Next Story

People Who Suffer From Hearing Loss Before 50 More Likely to Misuse Opioids

For those whose health care providers know of their hearing loss, McKee suspects that the higher rate of prescription opioid use disorder may stem from a higher rate of being placed on controlled substances to quickly address pain issues

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Here is good news for women who are suffering from hearing loss. A new study has found that consuming healthy food may decrease the risk of hearing loss in women.
Healthy Diet to Decrease HearingLoss in Women, Pixabay

People below 50 years who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to misuse opioids, alcohol and other drugs than their peers who have no such disorder, say researchers.

The findings showed adults under 35 years with a hearing loss were 2.5 times more likely to have a prescription opioid use disorder.

In addition, those between age 35 years and 49 years who had hearing loss were nearly twice as likely as their hearing peers to have disorders related to both prescription opioids and alcohol, said the study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

hearing loss
Representational image.

For the study, the team included 86,186 adults.

“Hearing loss is connected with a variety of health problems, including mental and physical health, which may place these individuals at risk for pain disorders. Also, the marginalising effects of hearing loss, such as social isolation, may be creating higher rates of substance use disorders too,” said Michael McKee from University of Michigan in the US.

Also Read- British Cybersecurity Inspect Major Technical Issues in Huawei’s Software

For those whose health care providers know of their hearing loss, McKee suspects that the higher rate of prescription opioid use disorder may stem from a higher rate of being placed on controlled substances to quickly address pain issues, perhaps because of communication barriers. (IANS)