Hospitals to do free hearing checks

2009-09-09 00:00

FREE hearing screenings will be held at several KZN hospitals on Friday to highlight national Hearing Awareness Month.

It is estimated that one in six South Africans suffers some degree of hearing loss.

Common sources of damaging noise levels include car sound systems turned to high volume, in-ear headphones, power tools, television and computer games, loud music at clubs, raves, aerobics and spinning classes, and even some children’s toys.

In addition to the free screenings, participating hospitals will be distributing information leaflets covering risk factors, common causes, and the types and degrees of hearing loss.

In KZN, hospitals that will be offering these free screenings include Entabeni, Westville, Crompton, Hillcrest Accident Emergency Unit, Mount Edgecombe,Chatsmed Garden and Empangeni hospitals.

 

Important factors:

• Do have your baby’s hearing tested shortly after birth. The earlier a hearing loss is detected, the more successful intervention can be.

• Do go for a hearing test if you are older than 55 or struggling to hear in noisy environments like restaurants.

• Do go to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist if you wake up with a sudden hearing loss.

• Do wear hearing protection if you work in a noisy environment or if you go to places where you will be exposed to excessive noise.

• Do not try to remove wax from your ear by sticking a cotton bud into your ear.Rather visit an audiologist or medical practitioner, who can remove it safely.

• Do not listen to your MP3 player at such a volume that you cannot have a conversation while listening to it.

•  Do not ignore your children when they say that they are struggling to hear, or if you notice that they are not hearing well. Have their hearing tested immediately.

• Do not ignore painful ears, they may be an indication of a more serious problem.

• Do not ignore ringing in your ears, visit your audiologist.

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