Hearing impairment and hearing loss are a major problem worldwide that does not receive enough attention. This is the conclusion reached by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its “Report on Hearing”. According to the report, around 1.6 billion people worldwide currently suffer from hearing loss.
How Many People Have Hearing Loss
430 million people are affected by severe and limiting hearing loss. According to the WHO forecast, the number of people with hearing impairment is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2050, with 700 million of them requiring medical care. In its report, WHO addresses the global extent of hearing impairment, describes causal and preventive factors of hearing loss, identifies effective interventions, and health challenges, and solutions. In this blog post, we will present key findings from the report.
The hearing loss would be largely preventable
“Medical treatments and surgeries can fix most ear conditions and potentially make up for the hearing loss,” WHO writes. Hearing loss results from problems during childbirth or infectious diseases, among other causes. In children, Chadha says nearly 60 percent of cases could be prevented – for example, through vaccinations, early detection, and better care for mothers and newborns.
Factors influencing hearing ability
There are numerous factors that influence a person’s hearing ability. These include, for example, genetic characteristics, biological factors, environmental influences, and behavioral factors that a person is exposed to in the course of his or her life. In general, a distinction can be made between negative influences (causative factors) that affect a person’s hearing and positive factors that protect hearing performance (protective factors).
Due to the high prevalence of hearing impairment and hearing loss around the world and the associated consequences, the World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of preventive measures and appropriate treatment for those affected. Technological solutions are already available today, are very effective, and also make sense from an economic point of view.