A Otorhinolaryngologist, Dr Festus Ogisi, has advised Nigerians on pragmatic ways to fight the increasing rate of deafness in the country.
Ogisi is a retired surgeon in the Department of Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
He gave the advice at the UBTH in Benin, during the celebration of the World Hearing Day with the theme: “Check your Hearing”.
According to him, Otorhinolaryngology is a surgical subspecialty within medicine that deals with conditions of the ear, nose and throat and related structures of the head and neck.
Ogisi defined deafness as “not able to hear, not willing to listen to or consider something”.
He said that World Hearing Day held on March 3 annually was to raise awareness of how to prevent deafness, hearing loss and to promote ear and hearing care across the world.
“Everyone should check his or her hearing from time to time, especially those who are at a higher risk of hearing loss such as adults above 50 years. Those working in noisy places, those listening to music at high volumes for long periods of time and those experiencing ear problems are at a high risk of hearing loss. Services for early identification and intervention are available in the hospital here. You can also download an app called Hear WHO on android phone which enables you check your hearing,” he said.
The surgeon explained that many people lived with unidentified hearing loss often failing to realise that they were missing out on certain sounds and words.
According to him, the causes of hearing loss include ageing, repeated exposure to loud noise, infections, and injuries to the ear, birth defects or genetic and ototoxic reaction to drugs.
He said that checking one’s hearing would be the first step toward addressing the issue of deafness.
The World Hearing Day is an international day marked on March 3, to raise awareness of deafness and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.