The Importance of Caring for Hearing Health from an Early Age

 Maintaining the health of the sense of hearing is important because the sense of hearing is part of an investment in the future. According to the Acting Director General of Disease Prevention and Control, dr. Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, DHSM, MARS, the impact caused by hearing loss and deafness is very broad and severe.

"So it interferes with cognitive, psychological and social development. As a result, the quality of human resources (Human Resources) is low and the community's competitiveness in the market share decreases," he said when giving an online press statement in commemoration of World Hearing Day 2021 on Tuesday (2/3).

dr. Maxi said WHO estimates that the economic impact of hearing loss and deafness will reach approximately US$750 billion per year.

In addition, hearing loss is claimed to be the fourth leading cause of disability globally. WHO data in 2018 noted that around 466 million or 6.1% of people worldwide had hearing loss, consisting of 432 million or 93% of adults and 34 million or 7% of children. And it is estimated that of the population aged over 65 years experience hearing loss that occurs naturally.

Therefore, caring for the health of the sense of hearing is important. This is in line with the national theme carried on World Hearing Day 2021, namely caring for hearing health for all and the international theme hearing for all. This theme contains key messages for carrying out detection, rehabilitation and communication.

Early detection is an important effort so that the prevention of hearing loss can be recognized early and followed up quickly and appropriately.

Furthermore, early rehabilitation will provide opportunities for people with hearing loss to regain hearing functions. And lastly, communication is an important process in obtaining information and socializing.

“Promotional efforts need to be increased in order to raise public awareness to facilitate access to communication for deaf friends. Health workers are also expected to have sensitivity to the needs of deaf friends, so that they can provide quality and optimal health services for them,” said dr. maxi.

Hearing Loss During a Pandemic

Meanwhile, the Head of Perhati KL, Prof. Dr. dr. Jenny Bashiruddin, Sp. ENT-KL, revealed an increase in cases of hearing loss in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the current pandemic situation, not all patients have the courage to go to the hospital, so sometimes there are some patients who come with severe conditions.

"So some of the patients we found had their hearing dropped once before they dared (to carry out an examination) and it turned out that it had been felt since the beginning of the pandemic," said Prof. Jenny.

For this reason, in the current pandemic era, according to Prof. Jenny, it is necessary to adjust health services for ear and hearing disorders so that patients and health workers still feel safe and no longer feel worried if they have to come to health care facilities. "So now in this pandemic era, not only patient safety but also health worker safety."

This adjustment was made among others by providing teleconsultation services. "Services before the pandemic were consultations carried out face-to-face, now we also do a lot of teleconsultation for patients who can indeed be seen through teleconsultation," he said.

However, this teleconsultation service, added Prof. Jenny, can only be done on patients who have complaints of external ear disorders. Meanwhile, patients who have complaints in the middle ear and inner ear still require examinations that require them to come to a health care facility that provides the necessary examination tools.

If the physical examination and outpatient support must be carried out directly, to increase safety, at the polyclinic visit, patient screening and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both patients and health workers must be carried out.

In addition, for surgery, said Prof. Currently, Jenny has to undergo strict preparation by performing a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab test before performing the operation. And as much as possible use a negative pressure operating room.

Head of Bureau of Communication and Community Service

drg. Widyawati, MKM


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