3rd March is observed as World Hearing Day. It is observed to promote activities and actions to be taken on a community level to protect hearing. Hearing loss is the most sensory disability. According to WHO, over 275 million people are deaf or suffering from hearing loss. The day was first observed in 2007 in China. Before 2016, the day was known as “International Ear Care Day”. In 2017 it was renamed as “World Hearing Day by World Health Organization (WHO).
Theme of World Hearing Day 2018; “Hear the Future”
Each year WHO decides a theme for the World Hearing Day and prepare brochures, events accordingly. The theme of World Hearing Day 2017 was “Action for hearing loss”, in 2016 it was “Childhood hearing loss”. This year WHO has decided the theme to be “Hear the Future”. The purpose of this theme is to anticipate the increase in the number of people with hearing disability in the future. The focus is to highlight the hearing loss issue and prepare some preventive plans. The strategies will ensure that the hearing impaired people do have access to rehabilitation centers and are fully aware of the tools and products for the prevention and treatment.
The Selection of Date
There is an interesting fact about the selection of the date for the world hearing day. It’s not merely a coincidence that the date 3rd March which symbolically looks like the shape of the ears. 3.3! The date was purposely selected to enhance the impact of the awareness campaign about hearing.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are basically three types of hearing loss:
1. Conductive Hearing Loss
(The loss caused by the outer or middle ear, eardrum damage or little bones damage)
2. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL)
(Its nerve-related hearing loss caused by the damage to inner ear)
3. Mixed Hearing Loss
(The combined damage to outer and inner ear)
Reasons for Hearing Loss
The most common factors for hearing loss are age and exposure to loud noises. People aged between 55 to 65; already have some kind of hearing problems. After 65, 1 in 2 people has hearing loss. Apart from these obvious reasons, the complex reasons are following:
1. Ruptured Eardrum
The eardrum can be ruptured by the sudden pressure change, infection, loud voices, poking any object to the eardrum.
2. Ear Infection
At times, infection in the ear canal can lead to the damage of hearing or loss of hearing.
3. Damage to the Inner Ear
The Cochlea in the inner ear sends sound signals to the brain. If the nerves of hair on it got damaged, the signals are not being transmitted as efficiently as they should.
4. Excessive Ear Wax
The excessive amount of ear wax can temporarily block the sound waves to conduct.
- Avoid Risk Factors
Activities like Snowmobiling, motorcycling, loud music, rock concerts, and explosive noises should be avoided to protect your hearing. In some cases like the workplace, you can have unavoidable noises of farming and construction, you can use specially designed earmuffs which will bring most loud sounds down.
- Get your Hearing Tested
Prevention is better than cure. Get an immediate checkup if you are feeling any hearing loss issue even of small degree. If you are asking people to repeat words or asking them to speak slowly and loudly, you must consult a doctor and get your hearing checked. Early detection of hearing loss can help you become alert to prevent any further hearing loss.
- Protect your Ears
Protect your ears in terms of hygiene and voices both. Take care of ear hygiene to avoid any infections. Keep them clean and dry. Avoid any type of sharp, pointed objects to clean your ears. Use earplugs to avoid loud noises. Give your ears some time to recover after a long duration of loud voices.