- According to WHO statistics nearly
15 percent of the global population suffer from some form of hearing loss
and about 460 million have disabling hearing loss.
- World Hearing Day 2018 observed
annually on the 3rd March aims to raise and spread awareness on
prevention of hearing loss and optimal management and care of deafness
through its campaign.
World Hearing Day
The first World Hearing Day was observed
on March 3rd 2007 with the aim of preventing deafness and
promoting hearing, pioneered by the WHO
Every year the WHO marks the World
Hearing Day by bringing out a theme along with catchy posters, banners,
infographics and similar material containing latest available data on the topic
and ways to address the problem.
‘WHO (World Health Organization) has launched the “Make Listening Safe initiative” to promote safe listening practices especially among the young.’
This material is made available to
governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) all over the world and
partners of the WHO who participate in this campaign.
A World Hearing Day seminar is organized
by the WHO at its headquarters in Geneva on this day.
In recent years, several member states and
partner organizations have joined hands with the WHO to raise awareness of this issue by hosting several events and
activities in their respective countries
Hearing Day 2018 - Make Listening Safe Initiative
This year the World Hearing Day theme is Hear the Future
and Make Listening Safe
on preventive measures and optimal rehabilitation of hearing
It is estimated that over a billion young people (12 - 35 years) worldwide are at risk of
becoming deaf due to unsafe listening practices
(uncontrolled use of
earphones and headphones to listen to music on smartphones). It is estimated
that if this problem is not urgently addressed over a 600 million of the global population will suffer from disabling
To address this pressing problem the WHO
has launched the Make Listening Safe campaign this year to promote safe
listening practices. Some of the key features of this initiative include the
- Development of the Make Listening Safe (MaLiSa) App
to highlight the importance of safe listening to children, youth, parents,
health professionals and policy makers. The App provides information and
tips to promote healthy listening and includes a media player that
monitors sound exposure to assist in safe listening.
- Looking into existing regulations
and policies on noise control in
entertainment venues such as
nightclubs, bars and stadiums hosting concerts and sporting events and
need for making necessary changes to address this problem.
- Development and implementation of global standards for devices such as mobile
phones to enable safe listening in partnership with the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other experts.
We Can Do To Create Awareness About Hearing Loss
WHO posters and banners bearing
educational messages and information are available online and can be downloaded
shared widely on social media and other platforms to spread the message of
prevention of hearing loss and to better manage hearing loss. Some of these
messages are as follows:
- Protect yourself from loud noise
- Have regular ear and hearing
- Seek medical attention if you have
ear pain or discharge
- Check with your doctor whether any
medicines that you take might affect hearing
- Ask for captioning and sign language
- Use hearing
aids as indicated
Doctors and health personnel can offer free hearing check-ups
day and display educational messages in their clinics to raise awareness about
prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of deafness.
As individuals we can do our bit to organize an event in our community
create awareness. Every hearing loss saved will contribute to achieving the
Loss - Facts and Figures
- Over 450 million people including 34 million children suffer from
disabling hearing loss
- Causes of hearing include inherited
diseases, infections, persistent exposure to loud noise, drugs and aging
hearing loss refers to more than 40 decibels
(dB) deafness in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss
greater than 30 dB in the better hearing ear in children.
- Statistics estimate that by 2050 over 900 million persons
worldwide will suffer from disabling hearing loss.
- Over 30 percent of persons above 65
years of age suffer from disabling hearing loss. The incidence is highest
in South Asia, Asia Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.
- About 1.1 billion young people (aged between 12-35 years) are at
risk of deafness due to exposure to unsafe listening practices.
- 60 percent
of childhood deafness can be prevented
diagnosis and treatment of deafness is
important to reduce its impact. These include hearing aids, cochlear implants, educational and social support.