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Hearing loss threatens old, young alike

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sat, April 6, 2019  /  09:34 pm
Hearing loss threatens old, young alike

The World Health Organization predicted that 5.3 percent of the global population, which equals 360 million people, have hearing problems. More than 9 million Indonesians are estimated to be among them. (Shutterstock/Tatiana Shepeleva)

Hearing loss in Indonesia rarely draws attention despite the fact that there are 150,000 cases each year in the country.

Hearing loss is most common among older people, affecting 4 percent of seniors. Such hearing loss is usually called degenerative hearing loss as it is mostly caused by the degeneration of cells in the cochlea (part of the inner ear involved in hearing).

Although degenerative hearing loss commonly happens to those over the age of 60, there are many behaviors that can lead to premature organ damage, posing the threat to younger people.

“We have to pay attention to disruptors to hearing organs such as exposure to loud sounds, infection and earwax abundance that are often found in school children,” Ali Ghufron Mukti of the Health Ministry said at the commemoration of World Ear and Hearing Health Day in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by Antara.

The most common reckless behavior dangerous to human ears is listening to music through earphones for too long at a high volume, said Ali.

“For example, if we listen to music at 90 decibels, we can only safely listen to it for a maximum of two hours. If the music is too loud, [for instance] 120 decibels, it should not be listened to for more than 10 seconds. A safe volume is below 80 decibels.”

Earwax and dirt can also pose a threat to young people’s hearing, Ali said.

He appealed that school children should be guided to take care of their hearing.

Read also: How to wear earphones without damaging your hearing

According to a quick survey by the eye department at the University of Indonesia's school of medicine, in several schools in six cities in Indonesia the prevalence of ear clogging by earwax is 30 to 50 percent.

“The clog can cause hearing problems, which will then disturb their learning process,” Ali said.

He underlined the importance of clean living and early detection of hearing disruption.

The World Health Organization predicted that 5.3 percent of the global population, which equals 360 million people, have hearing problems.

It was estimated that more than 9 million Indonesians were among them, according to Ali. (gis/mut)

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