Call for a greater focus on the causes of hearing loss

Prevention

The US education and advocacy group Quiet Communities recently posted a piece on how the area of prevention of hearing loss should be given more attention.

In many medical fields, prevention is not top of the list in terms of investment or research efforts. The need for treatments often takes precedence because of the urgency of helping affected individuals. Hearing loss is a good example of this mechanism.

Quiet Communities, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting health, the environment, and quality of life from noise, recently pointed out in an article by Daniel Fink, MD, Interim Chair of the Health Advisory Council, that one major aspect of tackling the hearing loss epidemic is not being addressed: prevention.

The article cites the recent report from the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on aging America and hearing loss as a good example of the issue. The report’s focus was the imperative of improved hearing technologies, looking only to technology and treatment as a solution to the problem. It assumed, according to Fink, that this is simply a natural consequence of aging.

Fink points to noise as the well-known cause of many cases of hearing loss. He believes that reducing exposure to environmental noise is a logical and cost-effective alternative to technology long-term. The US Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accessible and Affordable Hearing Health Care for Adults is to publish a report on hearing loss in June. Quiet Communities hopes this will be an opportunity to “change the national discussion about how to prevent hearing loss and make treatment of hearing loss more effective,” by going beyond evaluation and treatment strategies, and addressing root causes.

Source: Quiet Communities

C.S.

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