Hearing loss among the top five health conditions facing the Middle East

Awareness

A special report on health issues in the Middle East recently showed that 1 in 25 people in the region has some degree of hearing loss.

The survey, sponsored by MED-El, was conducted at the end of 2014 for nearly four weeks and included interviews of hearing loss experts in 140 ENT clinics across the region. The results were presented during a round table held as part of the Emirates Rhinology and Otology Conference organized in Dubai in mid-January.

Of the specialists interviewed in the survey, 87% reported that hearing loss featured among the top five conditions prevalent in the region, alongside diabetes, hepatitis and obesity. The study highlighted the importance of early intervention in dealing with this major health problem.

According to one of the round table panelists, Dr Hussain Al Rand, Assistant Undersecretary for health centers and clinics at the Ministry of Health, UAE, the health sector is taking the findings very seriously and is working on early screening procedures for newborns up to 3 years of age. “The earlier the problem is identified, the higher the chances of success of the treatment,” he said.

The study also highlighted the importance of education and literacy in the general awareness parents have of their child’s potential hearing impairment. “When parents had awareness, they were able to detect their child’s problem quickly and reach out for help. Early intervention resulted in early correction of the problem, as the brain has higher plasticity at a young age. Parents need to look at basic symptoms of hearing loss as early as a few months after birth,” said Dr David Raetz, CEO of Dubai-based Med-El Middle East FZE.

Source: Gulf News

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