Focus on the National Ear Care Day: my country’s disability rate due to deafness has dropped significantly. Presbycusis needs urgent intervention

Focus on the National Ear Care Day: my country’s disability rate due to deafness has dropped significantly. Presbycusis needs urgent intervention

March 3, 2023 is the 24th National Ear Care Day. This year’s theme is “Scientific Love and Ear Protection, Realizing Active Health”. Infants and young children over 1 year old with slurred speech should go to the otology clinic for examination in time, presbycusis is closely related to Alzheimer’s disease, long-term exposure to noise environments exceeding 85 decibels may cause hearing damage…Focusing on the National Ear Care Day, medical experts call on the whole society to strengthen Ear protection, ear love concept.

my country takes multiple measures to significantly reduce the disability rate due to deafness

“In recent years, hearing disabilities caused by birth defects, infectious diseases, and drug poisoning in my country have been greatly reduced, and the rate of disability due to deafness has dropped significantly.” said Yu Lisheng, director of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at Peking University People’s Hospital. Action Plan (2021-2025)” and other national plans and related policies, more and more hearing-impaired children have received cochlear implant surgery and postoperative rehabilitation training for free.

Yu Lisheng, director of the Department of Otolaryngology at Peking University People’s Hospital, conducts ear examinations for outpatients.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Gu Tiancheng

Surgical reconstruction of hearing is an important measure for the rehabilitation and treatment of deaf children. As one of the first batch of national cochlear implantation bases and the China Disabled Persons’ Federation’s designated operation hospital for the cochlear implantation project for rescue and rehabilitation of impoverished deaf children, Peking University People’s Hospital’s Department of Otolaryngology has accumulatively become one of the top hospitals in China including those from Tibet and Xinjiang since 2014. Hundreds of impoverished deaf children received free cochlear implants. There are 20 such designated surgery hospitals nationwide.

At the same time, in order to move the threshold forward, strengthen prevention, and effectively reduce and control the occurrence and development of disabilities, many provinces and cities across the country are actively promoting genetic screening for newborn deafness. Since 2018, Fuzhou City, Fujian Province has invested funds from the government to use gene chip detection technology to provide free deaf genetic screening for eligible newborns in the city; Beijing has implemented free newborn disease screening for all resident children since 2011. The genetic screening rate for neonatal deafness has reached over 99%; in 2022, the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region will incorporate the genetic screening project for neonatal deafness into the government’s livelihood issues…

Preventing deafness and treating presbycusis urgently requires intervention

According to the data of the second national sample survey of disabled persons, presbycusis occupies the first place among the causes of hearing disability in my country, accounting for 51.61%. According to a report released by the China Aging Development Foundation in 2022, only 5% to 10% of the elderly with moderate to severe hearing impairment in my country use hearing aids.

Hearing plays an important role in all stages of life. With the deepening of the aging population in our country, the hearing health of the elderly has received increasing attention. According to experts, the World Health Organization pointed out in the nine health risk factors for senile dementia that early identification and intervention of hearing loss in the elderly is the only link that can prevent the occurrence of senile dementia, and it should be highly concerned. Timely intervention can significantly reduce the incidence of senile dementia.

Ma Furong, chief physician of the Department of Otolaryngology, Peking University Third Hospital, said that my country has made gratifying achievements in children’s cochlear implantation and hearing screening, but hearing monitoring, hearing aid fitting, and cochlear implantation for the elderly with hearing impairment It still needs to be vigorously strengthened, and it should focus on carrying out hearing reconstruction, cochlear implants, and hearing device implantation operations at the grassroots level.

Strengthen the awareness of ear care, seek medical treatment in time for hearing loss

“Healthy China Action (2019-2030)” integrates hearing health into multiple major special actions at the same time. The Maternal and Child Health Promotion Action proposes that “the hearing screening rate of newborns should reach 90% and above”; Focusing on deafness and chemical poisoning, carry out special treatment in mining, building materials, metal smelting, chemical industry and other industries”…

How can I protect my hearing? According to Yu Lisheng, first, avoid or reduce exposure to noise environments as much as possible. Noise environments above 85 decibels may cause irreversible damage to hearing. For example, when using headphones, do not turn the volume too high, let alone use them for a long time; First, when occupational factors may cause hearing damage, timely protection should be done, and earplugs and earmuffs should be worn; third, unhealthy lifestyles should be avoided. Overwork, smoking, drinking, and stress can also easily lead to sudden deafness.

What situations may be hearing loss, should seek medical treatment in time? Experts said that for infants and young children, if the child does not open his mouth to speak and cannot express simple words in the age group of 10 months to 1 year old, it is recommended to go to the hospital for examination in time to rule out the situation that the language ability cannot be developed and consolidated due to hearing impairment . For middle-aged and elderly people, if they find that they cannot hear clearly when communicating with others in a noisy environment, always turn up the volume of the TV, or experience hearing loss accompanied by tinnitus, dizziness, nausea and other symptoms, they should go to the hospital in time .

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