The ear is one of the most neglected organs of the human body and unless there is pain or discomfort, people don’t much care about their ears.
As per the World Health Organisation, around six percent of the global population that is around 430 million people lives with partial or complete deafness. This number is projected to almost double by 2050 to around 700 million.
Speaking about the recent trends in hearing loss, Dr Boddupally Shiva Prasad, Cochlear Implant Specialist, KIMS Hospital and Shravya Speech and Hearing Centre, Hyderabad, says, “Congenital Hearing Loss, which can be identified and rectified through postnatal screening and hearing aid / cochlear implant at an early age.
Don’t ignore the hearing aid
When people experience mild to moderate hearing loss (30-70 %), they should consult an audiologist and start using hearing aid. If one does not avail the required treatment and use the hearing aid but continue to be exposed to cell phone radiation and noise pollution, their capacity of hearing would progressively deteriorate and they may become completely lose their hearing after a few years or even it can worsen rapidly depending on the individual case.
Congenital deafness or when a baby is born without hearing capacity, which in turn affects their speech development, needs to be identified and treated at the earliest. It is seen that out of 1,000 new-born, three to four are born with severe to profound hearing loss while six to seven percent have mild to moderate hearing issues.
Congenital deafness can be prenatal due to the pregnant mother’s exposure to radiation, ototoxic medication, some trauma or injury. It can be natal or during delivery if the baby suffers hypoxia or inadequate oxygen to the brain. It can also be due to postnatal causes like infection and trauma.
“In India, screening of new-born to ascertain their hearing ability is not mandatory. Therefore, parents often realise after one or two years about deafness in their children, which leads to loss of speech as well. The first 30 months are crucial for stimulating the brain for speech and language development in children. Therefore, an auditory screening programme should be mandatory in new-born within a month, diagnosis should be within two months followed by treatment and medical intervention. Cochlear implant can be done by the time the baby is around 10 months, till the implant takes place, hearing aid can be used. The procedure is followed by professional auditory verbal therapy (AVT) for next two to three years, depending on the age at which the implant had taken place. The earlier the implant happens, the better for the child’s hearing and speech development,” explains Dr Shiva Prasad.
Shravya Speech & Hearing Centre celebrated Children’s Day with cochlear implant recipient families in their S R Nagar branch. Many recipient families who received their cochlear implant under the age of 5 years attended the event and participated in different activities and games. This event helped the families to showcase the talents of their children. More than 100 families participated the event including AVT therapists Dr. Deeksha Rayapati, Dr. Satya Prakashini, Ms. Srilatha, Ms Priyanka, Ms. Swetha, Ms. Saritha Deshpande, Ms. Bhavani, Ms. Rama and Ms. Vaishnavi.