Health Ministry warns the public
Excessive use of modern equipment such as mobile phones and other headset devices is one of the major causes for hearing disorders, the Health Ministry stated.
Speaking to the Nation, Health Services, Director General, Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that currently, about nine percent of the local population suffers some sort of hearing disorder. He also said that of the 10 percent elderly population (age 65 and above), about three percent have been reported deaf, partially or otherwise.
“We cannot particularly say what causes deafness as reasons may vary from person to person. It can be either due to complications from illnesses, clogging of blood in or around the organs that enable hearing – or due to sound pollution. However, according to studies, we have understood that up to 50 percent of hearing defects in ‘elders’ are preventable, if identified and treated at the right time” he highlighted.
The Ministry of Health therefore in collaboration with the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgeons in Sri Lanka are planning to launch a five year program- ‘The National Prevention and Control of Deafness’, with the view of educating the public on ear and hearing related matters the Director General told The Nation.
“Although March 3 was declared the World Ear and Hearing day by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007, it is this year, for the first time Sri Lanka is marking it” said the ministry spokesman.