HMC Marks World Hearing Day By Raising Awareness About Ear Care And Hearing Preservation

HMC Marks World Hearing Day By Raising Awareness About Ear Care And Hearing Preservation By Fathimath Nasli - March 10, 2024
HMC Marks World Hearing Day By Raising Awareness About Ear Care And Hearing Preservation

HMC Marks World Hearing Day by organizing awareness activities

The Audiology and Balance Unit at Hamad Medical Corporation has organized awareness activities to celebrate World Hearing Day. The activities were held under the theme "Changing mindsets: Let’s make ear and hearing care a reality for all." These events focused on identifying the causes of hearing loss, preventive measures, diagnostic tests, and treatment options.

World Hearing Day, observed on 3 March each year, aims to raise awareness about hearing loss prevention, promote ear and hearing health care globally. More than 300 people participated in the educational and learning campaign about the causes and preventive measures of hearing loss held across medical facilities in the country.

Dr. Khaled Abdul Hadi, Consultant, Audiology and Balance Medicine and Head of the Audiology and Balance Unit at HMC, explained that hearing loss can result from various factors throughout different life stages.

Factors contributing to hearing loss include genetic factors, maternal infections during pregnancy such as German measles and cytomegalovirus, birth complications, neonatal asphyxia, neonatal jaundice, low birth weight, chronic ear infections, fluid accumulation in the middle ear, meningitis, and other infections. In adolescence and adulthood, chronic diseases and age-related sensory neural hearing loss are common causes. Daily factors contributing to hearing loss include earwax accumulation, loud noise exposure, poor nutrition, viral infections, and others.

“Approximately 28,000 people undergo screening for hearing loss and impairment in Qatar annually, with 384 patients having undergone cochlear implant surgery, and hearing aids provided to around 10,000 patients,” Dr. Abdul Hadi said.

Recent reports from the WHO indicate more than five percent of the global population - around 430 million people - require intervention to address hearing loss causing auditory impairment, including 34 million children. Estimates suggest that by 2050, more than 700 million people worldwide - or one in every 10 - will suffer from hearing loss according to the same source."

Dr. Abdul Hadi emphasized the importance of taking proactive measures to ensure good ear health and hearing including:

  • Practicing good maternal and child care,
  • Providing advice related to genetics and early detection of common ear diseases
  • Offering appropriate treatment, implementing specialized programs to preserve hearing in cases of frequent exposure to noise and chemicals, adopting safe listening strategies to minimize exposure to loud sounds in recreational environments
  • Using medications cautiously and under medical supervision to prevent hearing loss caused by certain drugs.

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The need for public health strategies to prevent hearing loss, including good maternal and child care practices, genetic counseling, early detection of common ear diseases, professional programs to preserve hearing in noisy environments, safe listening strategies to reduce exposure to loud sounds, and cautious medication use under medical supervision to prevent medication-induced hearing loss.

The Audiology and Balance Unit at HMC provides unparalleled services to patients with hearing loss, especially children, surpassing those offered by top specialized centers worldwide. The unit is equipped with state-of-the-art devices and employs highly trained staff with high efficiency to ensure the best possible level of healthcare for patients.

A department for hearing aids and auditory-verbal rehabilitation was established to provide comprehensive assessment and treatment for all patients with hearing problems. An integrated approach combining modern technology and auditory-verbal rehabilitation strategies focused on the patient was adopted. The department includes three specialized clinics for assessing, fitting, and programming hearing aids, as well as a dedicated laboratory for designing and manufacturing ear molds and inserts equipped with state-of-the-art 3D technology.

A specialized team takes the patient's ear impression and designs it in three dimensions using the best raw materials to provide superior quality hearing aids. Additionally, there are six clinics for auditory-verbal rehabilitation, where children with hearing impairments, including cochlear implant recipients, and hearing aid users, undergo rehabilitation.

This category of children is included in a treatment plan until they acquire language and speech to develop their linguistic skills in speaking and listening, enhancing various aspects of their abilities such as hearing, listening, speaking, language, and cognition. The treatment plan's objectives are achieved with the assistance of families in understanding the contributing factors to the success of this system. Therefore, a dedicated space equipped with monitoring screens allows parents to attend sessions with their children and learn training methods.

The services provided by the department of hearing aids and auditory and verbal rehabilitation include hearing tests, manufacturing of molds, programming of hearing aids, and auditory-verbal therapy sessions. Patients can easily access these services in a streamlined manner, with our commitment to reducing waiting times to ensure comfort for our patients.

Dr. Khaled emphasized that the aim of the Audiology and Balance Unit at HMC is to enhance the quality of medical care in the field of hearing and balance through training, education, and research.

The unit offers high-quality educational and training programs for local and international university students, as well as healthcare specialists and audiology technicians in healthcare centers and all sectors of the healthcare industry in the country. This includes an educational and field training program in the field of hearing tests, diagnostic methods, and treatment to provide highly skilled and experienced medical personnel to meet the future healthcare needs of the community.

Source: HMC

By Fathimath Nasli - March 10, 2024

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