BENGALURU: On ‘World Hearing Day’, Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialists opine that people shouldn’t turn a deaf ear towards their hearing health. Experts say that the time taken by individuals to have their hearing tested and to seek treatment, combined with a reluctance to use hearing aids is a very dangerous trend in the state. According to Dr Vidya S, ENT specialist, Apollo Clinics, there are many screening camps for eye and dental check-up, which are taken very seriously, but hearing camps are a rarity.
“People come to us only when there is a pain in the ear or when there is some kind of leakage. There is definitely a poor record of people who come to screen their ears,” said Dr Vidya. According to reports from several hospitals from Bengaluru, there is a 30 per cent increase in hearing loss incidents in the last five years. There is also a 15 per cent increase in cases among 40 to 50-year-olds in the city, due to noise pollution. There is excessive use of earphones among the youth” Dr Vidya added.
Meanwhile, there are very few who agree to use hearing aids. Dr Prakash, an ENT at Victoria Hospital said, “If there is a survey done, the number of people taking eye tests and using glasses or lenses would surely be higher than those using hearing aids.”Incidentally, according to the WHO reports, in 2018, India had the highest number of those with hearing loss. And from 2008 to 2018, it has been steadily increasing, from 76.5 million to 100 million.
Recognise the warning signs: Ringing in the ears (tinnitus), difficulty in hearing high-pitched sounds, understanding speech on the telephone or following conversations in noisy places