Hearing Care for All
Feature Articles

Hearing Care for All

March 3, 2021

By Irfana Husen, Audiologist and Speech Language Therapist, District Disability Rehabilitation Centre, Mysuru

Hearing loss is a common problem caused by noise, aging, disease and heredity. People with hearing loss may find it hard to have conversations with friends and family. They may also have trouble understanding a doctor’s advice, responding to warnings, and hearing doorbells or phone ringing.

The District Disability Rehabilitation Centre (DDRC) Mysuru, started as an outreach activity under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, and the Department for Empowerment of Differently Abled and Senior Citizens with Indian Red Cross Society, Mysuru, celebrates World Hearing Day-2021 giving a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases.

Key messages to general public

  • Good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life.
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be avoided through preventative actions such as: Protection against loud sounds, good ear care practices and regular hearing check-up.
  • Hearing loss (and related ear diseases) can be addressed when it is identified in a timely manner and appropriate care taken.
  • People at risk of hearing loss should check their hearing regularly.
  • People having hearing loss (or related ear diseases) should seek care from a healthcare provider (audiologist).

Hearing loss in aged people

Approximately one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. But some people may not want to admit they have trouble hearing. 

Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse. If you have a hearing problem, see your doctor. Hearing aids, special training, certain medicines, and surgery are some of the treatments that can help. 

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Signs of hearing loss 

Some people have a hearing problem and don’t realise it. You should see your doctor if you: 

  • Have trouble hearing over telephone.
  • Find it hard to follow conversations when two or more people are talking.
  • Often ask people to repeat what they are saying.
  • Need to turn up the TV volume so loud that others complain.
  • Have a problem hearing because of background noise.
  • Think that others seem to mumble.
  • Can’t understand when women and children speak to you.

How to cope with hearing loss 

If you notice signs of hearing loss, talk to your doctor. If you have trouble hearing, you should: 

  • Let people know you have a hearing problem.
  • Ask people to face you and to speak more slowly and clearly. Also, ask them to speak louder without shouting.
  • Pay attention to what is being said and to facial expressions or gestures.
  • Let the person talking know if you do not understand what he or she said.
  • Ask the person speaking to reword a sentence and try again.
  • Find a good location to listen. Place yourself between the speaker and sources of noise and look for quieter places to talk.

Devices to help with hearing loss 

Your doctor or specialist may suggest you get a hearing aid. Hearing aids are electronic, battery-run devices that make sounds louder. There are many types of hearing aids. Assistive-listening devices, mobile apps, alerting devices, and cochlear implants can help some people with hearing loss. 

DDRC has conducted over 700 camps in rural areas of Mysuru identifying 2,151 individuals facing hearing loss and provided behind-the-ear hearing aids for 850 individuals and 144 pocket hearing aids for elderly persons. World Hearing Day is aimed to create awareness among general population to take care of their hearing and seek treatment as soon as possible. Visit nearby ENT specialist and audiologist.

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