On this year’s World Hearing Day with theme: “Action for hearing loss: Make a sound investment” the World Health Organization, (WHO) has raised alarm that approximately US$ 750 billion, is lost to unaddressed hearing loss even as it disclosed that 360 million people in the world have disabling hearing loss.
In Nigeria, a Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Professor Abayomi Somefun, has said that 8.5 million persons suffer hearing loss.
Children are most vulnerable group to ear defects and no fewer than 3.5 million Nigerian children are affected.
The WHO, in a press statement has stressed that strategies such as prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education could mitigate hearing loss and its consequences.
WHO has noted that the theme draws attention to the economic impact of hearing loss. “Unaddressed hearing loss poses a high cost for the economy globally and has a significant impact on the lives of those affected. Interventions to address hearing loss are available and are cost-effective and prevention, screening for early identification, rehabilitation through hearing devices, captioning and sign language education are among the strategies which can mitigate hearing loss and its consequences.
WHO has explained that the World Hearing Day also highlights actions which can be undertaken by decision-makers to address hearing loss. Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease, and heredity. Hearing is a complex sense involving both the ear’s ability to detect sounds and the brain’s ability to interprete those sounds, including the sounds of speech. Aging and chronic exposure to loud noises are significant factors that contribute to hearing loss. Other factors, such as excessive earwax, can temporarily prevent your ears from conducting sounds as well as they should.

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