The ability of hearing is one of the imperative senses for a human being for communication. However, not everyone is blessed with perfect abilities. A certain portion of humankind has to deal with low levels of hearing or absence of hearing ability in them. These hearing-related problems may be hereditary or cause of an uncertain situation. Be it hereditary or an entry in a phase of one's life, it makes communication difficult for the sender as well as the receiver. Therefore, to minimize the effects of such imperfections, many organizations have been established.
World health organization (WHO) has declared 3rd March as "World hearing day" to prevent permanent as well as temporary hearing loss by creating awareness about ear and hearing care.
History of World Hearing Day
This day was first celebrated as international ear care day in 2007 by WHO. Later in 2016, it was renamed; International hearing day.
Significance of World Hearing Day
The day is for the promotion of ear care and awareness about ear diseases for the prevention and cure of the same. Communication is important for sustaining relations; therefore, taking care of ears is one's responsibility. Therefore, people with a risk of hearing loss must regularly consult with an audiologist and clear their doubts regarding hearing loss and other ear problems. As it is rightly said, "Prevention is better than cure" we must be on a safer side by inculcating good ear practices, immunization, reduced exposure to loud sounds.
"Sign language" enables communication for people with permanent hearing loss. Sign language is the form of communication where the message is communicated via visual gestures and signs.
The absence of hearing ability cannot stop anyone from achieving their aims or being a part of a community. Some dedicated communities enable imperfect children and youth to engage in community activities and remove the feeling of isolation. In one way, it paves a way to have fulfilling lives like everyone.
World Hearing Day 2022 Date
When is World Hearing Day 2022?
World Hearing Day for the year 2022 is celebrated/observed on Wednesday, 2 February.
World Hearing Day dates for the years 2022, 2023, 2024, 2025, and 2026
|2022||Thu||3 Mar||World Hearing Day|
|2023||Fri||3 Mar||World Hearing Day|
|2024||Sun||3 Mar||World Hearing Day|
|2025||Mon||3 Mar||World Hearing Day|
|2026||Tue||3 Mar||World Hearing Day|
How to Identify the Risk and Disease?
Consultation with an audiologist is the best way to kill the anxiety and obtain clear answers for our questions related to hearing abilities. An Audiologist is a certified professional who can identify, assess and manage disorders of hearing, balance and other neural systems. Audiologists identify the type of hearing loss based on the age, medical history of the patient. However, performing certain hearing tests is necessary to confirm the type of hearing loss. Let us have a glance at a few of the testing methods.
Pure-Tone audiometry (PTA)
This test is to identify the presence and extent of hearing loss. It is the primary test in recognition of a hearing problem. The test operator channels sound of different pitches and volumes into ears through a machine called 'Audiometer'. It requires a patient to signal every time they hear a sound.
In this test, a set of audio clips will be played without visuals. Or the operator says a few words. The patient is required to identify and repeat the words. This test is performed to measure the speech reception threshold (SRT).
This test is to determine the functioning of the eardrum in response to air pressure. It is performed with an expectation to identity fluids behind the eardrums, perforated eardrums and any abnormal movements of the eardrum.
Bone Conduction Test
It involves placing of vibrating tuning fork against the bone behind the ear. It is to detect problems with the inner ear or auditory nerves that could indicate sensorineural hearing loss.
Once the type of hearing loss is identified, the medical professional suggests hearing aids based on the degree of the issue.
What are Hearing Aids?
Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices that help the patient hear the sounds clearly and amplify sounds. These play a major role in the performance of daily activities by facilitating smooth communication. There are three parts in a usual hearing aid, which are as below.
The Functionality of a Common Hearing Aid
The microphone receives the sound waves, which are then converted to electrical signals and sent to an amplifier. The amplifier increases the power of the electric signals and then sends them to the ear through the speaker. There are different kinds of hearing aids in the world. Let's see a few of them.
Behind-the-ear aids (BTE)
These aids have a small case that is connected to tubing that directs the sounds into the ears via earmolds. These aids can either be placed behind the ear or on top of the ear.
In-the-canal aids (ITC) and completely-in-canal aids (CIC)
These come in tiny cases. These can be completely fit or partially fit in the canal. These are said to be one of the smallest hearing aids because of which customers may find these difficult to handle.
These aids can be completely adjusted inside the outer ear and are mostly used for mild to severe hearing loss. A hard plastic case contains electronic components. They are bigger than the in-the-canal aids (ITC). Few of these have additional features installed, like a telecoil which facilitates hearing conversations over the phone.
How is World Hearing Day Celebrated?
The Office of Prevention of Blindness and Deafness of the World Health Organization (WHO) encourages campaigns to spread awareness. In 2021, many hearing based organizations held their springboarding from the WHO's initiative to contribute to human welfare. A few of them are listed below.
- Student Academy of audiology designated March as a humanitarian month with projects that include hearing screenings, good drives etc.,
- The Ida institute's compilation of questions and answers related to hearing loss and ear problems, along with a test to evaluate hearing problems.
- The American speech-language-hearing association's compilation of treatments, hearing protection suggestions; digital toolkit.
The Theme of World Hearing Day 2022
"To hear for life, listen with care" is the theme declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The motto is to focus on the importance of safe listening to maintain good hearing across the life course. From the last year's report on the hearing, it was observed that noise control is one of the seven key H.E.A.R.I.N.G. interventions and stressed the importance of mitigating exposure to loud sounds.
The theme is chosen to convey the below key messages:
a) It is possible to have good hearing across the life course through ear and hearing care
b) Many common causes of hearing loss can be prevented, including hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sounds
c) 'Safe listening' can mitigate the risk of hearing loss associated with recreational sound exposure
d) WHO calls upon governments, industry partners and civil society to raise awareness for and implement evidence-based standards that promote safe listening
b) Venue managers and owners of entertainment venues
c) General public, especially young adults
Some Interesting Facts
- Sounds are louder underwater than in air because of the higher density of water.
- Hear the world is a non-profit Swiss foundation that provides funding, hearing technology as well as on-site expertise to train local professionals to support and empower the young generation with hearing ailments.
- Octopuses do not have ears. However, a scientific research confirmed that they have the poor ability to identify sounds, but they use an organ called statocyst to detect sound waves.
It's our responsibility to protect our hearing ability. Let's avoid loud noises, take periodic breaks, use noise-cancelling earmuffs, follow good ear care practices for a better tomorrow.
Not only that, it's time for all of us to learn sign language and build relationships with everyone for a peaceful existence