Hearing loss (or decline): symptoms, causes, remedies. Is recovery possible and how?

Hearing loss (or decline): symptoms, causes, remedies.  Is recovery possible and how?


OfMaria Giovanna Faiella

Seven million Italians suffer from hearing loss. It is not just a problem due to age but can depend on pathologies which, if diagnosed in time, can be treated. Don’t be ashamed to talk about it with your doctor or specialist

“Can’t you hear us?” or even “Are you deaf?”: phrases that sometimes hurt, almost as much Not to manage to feel good, or not at all. The stigma associated with losing yourhearing and diseases ofear it is still rooted in societies and can compromise treatmentas underlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the occasion of world hearing day, which occurs on March 3. Hence the slogan chosen this year, «Changing mentality: let’s make ear and hearing care a reality for everyone!» with the aim of raising awareness of the possible consequences of hearing disordersabove all if not recognised, diagnosed and treated adequately.

Hearing problems for 7 million compatriots

According to WHO estimates, by 2050, beyond 700 million people (one in ten) in the world they will have one disabling hearing loss and approximately one in four individuals will experience one form of hearing loss.
In our country they suffer from hearing loss 7 million compatriotsabout 12 percent of the population, especially those who are older: one in two over 80s and about 25 percent of people in the age group between 61 and 80 years they have one disabling hearing losswith repercussions on cognitive abilities and social inclusion.

Young people are also at risk (due to unsafe listening habits)

Hearing disorders are in increase also among adults and younger people, more exposed to environmental risks. Globally, the WHO estimates that, by 2050, more than a billion young people they may be at risk of permanent hearing loss (avoidable) due to their unsafe listening habits.
«On the subject of prevention little is still being done, not to say anything – comments Pietro Cino, president of the Commission of the National Register of Audiometric Technicians – . There is now a large number of scientific studies relating theusageincreasingly frequent and reckless, of devices for listening to music by the new generations and the presence of hearing loss induced by exposure to high intensity sounds. Recently, a study published on scientific journal BMJ Public Health Journalhighlighted the close correlation between noise-induced hearing loss hey video gamersunderlining the need for promote educational campaigns on hearing health among young people».

Hearing loss, when the symptoms are a sign of other diseases

If you have hearing problems, this is necessary Talk to your doctor about it and do periodic audiological checks: intervening promptly can, in fact, be possible prevent the hearing loss from worseningto the point of causing the deafness.
There hearing loss it can also be a symptom of various pathological conditions which can be resolved if diagnosed in timebut which become permanent if neglected, the experts underlined during a meeting in Rome, «Deafness: a silent pandemic», organized on March 1st on the initiative of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (SIOeChCF) and the Italian Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics (SIAF). This is why, they suggest, at the first signal necessary be examined by an ENT doctor or an audiologist, the professional figures who can identify the type of problem, and therefore the correct treatment. The professor explains Giovanni Danesipast president SIOeChCf: «Gli areas of pathology of which deafness can be a symptom they can be varied and therefore the specialist doctor-patient relationship becomes a crucial point in the early diagnosis: we go from genetic and hereditary diseases like theotosclerosisat ear infections chronic, both in childhood that of the adult, ranging promptly treated For prevent neural hearing impairment; give her viral and non-viral infectious diseasesas the meningitis which can lead to deafness and must be treated promptly before the cochlea come ossifiedup to benign tumor pathologies such as tumors of the acoustic nerve».

Why hearing aids should be used

«Deafness – points out Professor Piero Nicolai, president of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology and Cervical-Facial Surgery – it affects women and men, children and the elderly, and its impact on daily life is too often underestimated. For example, Not treating deafness in old age increases the risk of dementia more than fivefold in these patients.”
Thirty percent of people over 70 have hearing loss.
Professor Nicola Quaranta reports, president of the Italian Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics: «Recent studies have highlighted that the hearing loss in adulthood represents a significant risk factor, modifiable, for the development of cognitive impairment in the elderly. An important implication is that early diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, through hearing aid and cochlear implant, can slow down and prevent The cognitive impairment of the elderly”.

Hearing screening at birth

A hearing deficit, if not identified and corrected, can cause serious problems consequences also on language development and psychophysical well-being from the early stages of life. In our country, with the Prime Ministerial Decree updating the Lea-Essential levels of assistance in 2017, all newborns are guaranteed screening neonatal hearing, precisely to reduce the disabling effects of congenital diseases.
«Thanks to neonatal audiological screening – underlines Professor Stefano Berrettini of the University of Pisa, past president of SIAF – today children with hearing impairments can have a linguistic and global development that is very similar to that of normal-hearing peers».

March 2, 2024



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