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World Report on Hearing | WHO

by Nirdesh Baral
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The World report released by WHO on hearing envisions a world in which no individual experiences hearing loss due to preventable causes, and those with hearing loss can achieve their full
potential through rehabilitation, education and empowerment. Hearing is the sense with which we perceive the sounds around us; through hearing we engage with our environment, communicate with others, express our thoughts, and gain education. Globally more than 1.5 billion people experience some decline in their hearing capacity during their life course, of whom at least 430 million will require care. Loss of hearing, if not identified and addressed, can have far-reaching consequences, adversely affecting language development, psychosocial well-being, quality of life, educational attainment and economic independence at various stages of life . Unaddressed, hearing loss imposes a global cost of more than $ 980 billion annually, and potentially risks the global goal of United Nations Member States to end poverty and ensure that all people on this planet enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030 Many causes of hearing loss can be prevented. Common ear diseases, ear infections, vaccine-preventable illnesses, and exposure to noise and chemicals, endanger the hearing of many people at different ages. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, for example, that more than 1 billion young people put themselves at risk of permanent hearing loss, often unknowingly, by listening to music at loud intensity over long periods of time. Mitigating such risks through public health action is essential to addressing hearing loss.

Hearing across the life course

To standardize the way in which severity of hearing loss is reported, WHO has adopted a grading system based on audiometric measurements. This system is a revision of an earlier approach adopted by WHO, and differs from the earlier system in that measurement of onset of mild hearing loss is lowered from 26 dB
to 20 dB; hearing loss is categorized as mild, moderate, moderately-severe, severe, profound or complete; and unilateral hearing loss has been added. In addition to the classifications, the revised system provides a description of the functional.

Grades of Hearing

Burden of Hearing Problem

Besides the 1.16 billion people worldwide with mild hearing loss, about 400 million live with hearing loss that ranges from moderate to severe; nearly 30 million have profound or complete hearing loss in both ears

Test of Hearing Over course of time

Preventive Practice

A property of WHO publication

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