World Hearing Day: Hearing loss rises among youth in Kerala

The World Health Organization recommends to use only sixty percent of the volume settings in the headphones. Representative image/Pixsooz/Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: World Hearing Day is observed on March 3, every year, to create awareness about hearing health and to prevent deafness and other hearing-related ailments. It is quite alarming to know that the number of youngsters who fall prey to deafness in Kerala is significantly going up. As per unofficial data collected by ENT doctors in the state, there has been an increase of twenty-five percent in the number of persons who suffer from deafness or hearing loss, in the last five years. It must be noted that most of them are below the age of sixty years. The overuse of headphones is believed to be the real villain that robs people of their ability to hear.

The World Health Organization recommends using only sixty percent of the volume settings in the headphones. However, Dr. Zulfi N Nuhu explains that in Indian conditions, it must be just fifty percent. The youngsters in Kerala set the volume up to seventy-five percent, putting their hearing abilities at risk. Overusage of headphones could damage the nerves in the ears. The hearing loss that happens like this cannot be retrieved. The doctors say that, in Kerala, eighty percent of people who suffer from hearing loss do not realise that.

National project for hearing aid distribution
New Delhi: The World Health Organization has recommended that member states form national-level projects to facilitate the distribution of hearing aids. The organisation says that even though more than forty crore people, around the world, suffer from hearing loss, only seventeen percent of them are access to hearing aids. It must be noted that around six percent of the Indian population suffers from deafness or hearing loss. The latest guidelines also suggest including hearing health in the list of primary health services.

Special app for gauging hearing
The primary test for gauging the hearing capacity could be done through the ‘hearWHO’ mobile application introduced by the World Health Organization. This mobile application could be downloaded from the Play Store on Android phones and the App Store on Apple phones. Earbuds or headphones must be connected to the phone while using the application. The instructions regarding volume settings should be strictly followed. If you are not able to hear properly then you could try guessing and press ‘ok’ to proceed. The final score would be revealed in the end which gives you a better understanding of your hearing ability.

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