Hearing specialists partner with youth orchestra program to create hearing awareness

  • SNR Hearing partners with Safaricom-sponsored Ghetto Classics
  • The partnership marks the celebration of World Hearing Day on March 3,2019.
  • Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss (1), and 34 million of these are children. By 2050, more than 900 million people will have significantly impaired hearing.
  • The WHO estimates that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 750 billion.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) has launched “hearWHO”, a free application for mobile devices.

 

 

Nairobi, March 3, 2019: A hearing impairments firm has partnered with Ghetto Classics music education program to raise awareness on deafness prevention and hearing loss among budding musicians in underserved areas of Nairobi.

SNR Hearing, an audiology practice based in Nairobi and the Safaricom-sponsored Ghetto Classics Orchestra will kick off the partnership with free screening tests, examinations and diagnosis for hearing loss for the youthful musicians  in Korogocho slums.

The event will educate the musicians on damaging sound and prevention of hearing loss. It is part of a series of activities marking the World Hearing Day on March 3 each year to raise public awareness on  preventing deafness and hearing loss and promoting ear and hearing care across the world.

According to  Seema Rupani Shah, an audiologist and founder of SNR Hearing, working with Ghetto Classics Orchestra will help the musicians with early detection of hearing loss and necessary prevention, with global studies on the prevalence of hearing loss in musicians citing the risk as substantial. Specifically, the study reveals that 43.6% of classical musicians experience some form of hearing loss.

“Because of the nature of their work, musicians of all genres are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Because being able to hear properly is vital to the musician’s livelihood, from being able to hear the right notes and words to playing in the correct pitch and key, a big part of our work with the musicians is to inculcate the culture of  early examination and detection of hearing loss problems to prevent deafness” said Seema.

Beyond the free screening and diagnosis, the famous slum programs’  musicians aged between 14-20 will  benefit from free assessment, therapy and advice on dealing with hearing loss.

“Generally, once we get to 25, our hearing slowly degenerates. Untreated hearing loss is eventually very expensive as not only affects the quality of life, but over time it also affects the brain’s ability to remember common everyday sounds. The sooner hearing issues are detected the better chances are of keeping our hearing in good shape,” said Seema.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), about 50 per cent of people aged 12-35 years are at the danger of risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds, including music they listen to through personal audio devices. To this effect, the UN agency and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have issued a new international standard for the manufacture and use of these devices, which include smartphones and audio players, to make them safer for listening.

WHO-ITU standard recommends that personal audio devices include sound allowance function software that tracks the level and duration of the user’s exposure to sound as a percentage used of a reference exposure. Most sufferers live in poor and middle-income countries in which by 2050, more than 900 million people will have significantly impaired hearing.

The WHO estimates that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 750 billion.

Interventions to prevent, identify and address hearing loss are cost-effective and can bring great benefit to individuals.

To this effect, the World Health Organization (WHO) has launched “hearWHO”, a free application for mobile devices which allows people to check their hearing regularly and intervene early in case of hearing loss. The app is targeted at those who are at risk of hearing loss or who already experience some of the symptoms related to hearing loss.

Ends.