New Delhi: Hearing loss has become the number one disability in the world with loud music, recreational equipment and noisy workplaces causing one-third of all such cases, according to a new study.
The study, which came ahead of World Deafness Day on 24September, estimates that around 500 million people worldwide suffer from some form of hearing loss.
People are now losing their hearing at a much younger age than they used to 30 years ago, the study compiled by the Hearing Institute of America said.
The revelation has raised concern among experts in India, who feel hearing-related ailments are increasing rapidly, especially among the youth.
About 1-2 per 1,000 children across the world are born hearing impaired. In India, the figure is likely to be higher at about 3-4 children per 1,000, said Ameet Kishore of the Apollo Indraprastha Hospital.
“Out of the total deaf population of 6.3% in India, about 1% suffer from noise induced deafness.” Youth in India, especially those working with tele-calling agencies, are becoming more prone to hearing-related problems.
“It is a real matter of concern, especially at a time when young students are hooked to their mobile phones and music players for long hours,” said ENT specialist R C Deka of the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS).