Untreated hearing loss is the third leading cause of years lived with disability in the world. Therefore, World Hearing Day is a call to action for governments and health care professionals to address hearing related issues.
This year, the event highlights the importance of integrating ear care within primary care. And this is because ear problems are among the most common health problems worldwide. In other words, around 360 million people live with disabling hearing loss. And over a billion people aged 12-35 years are at risk of hearing loss due to recreational noise exposure. But fortunately, more than 60% of cases in both children and adults can be identified and treated at the primary care level.
Hearing loss in adults: When to suspect and what to do
You could have hearing loss if you:
1 ● Often ask people to repeat themselves.
2 ● Turn up the volume of your electronic devices.
3 ● Have difficulty following conversations in noisy places.
4 ● Have a ringing sensation in the ear (tinnitus).
5 ● Have problem in listening sounds like doorbell, alarm or a telephone ringing.
6 ● People say that you speak loudly.
If any of the above tips apply to you, get your hearing tested (audiometry) by a professional. The sooner you do it, the better. Hearing loss can add to or worsen some other pathologies, like depression or dementia. Thus, ask for medical advice to treat it.
Tips for Healthy Ears
1 ● Clean the outer part of your ear with a soft cloth. The inner ear canal is self-cleaning.
2 ● Go to see a doctor if you have ear problems (ear discharge, for example).
3 ● Only use medicines prescribed by a doctor.
4 ● Wear your ear aids regularly when advised.
5 ● Don’t put cotton buds, oil, sticks or pins into your inner ears.
6 ● Keep clear of swimming or washing in dirty water.
7 ● Avoid sharing earphones or earbuds.
8 ● Do not listen to loud sounds or loud music. In addition, use earplugs in noisy places.
What should I do for the ear pain?
1 ● Put anything in the ear.
2 ● Put hot or cold oil into the ear.
3 ● Use home remedies — wax removal, for instance, should only be done by a healthcare professional.
4 ● Use ear drops not prescribed by a doctor.
Instead, go to see a doctor to check your ears. Ear infections can be treated. But, above all, act without any delay.