With September dedicated to raising awareness about deafness and over 260 million people in the world living with a disabling hearing loss, Netcare Mulbarton Hospital and the Hearing and Balance Clinic based at the hospital will be offering free hearing screenings to members of the public for the month of September. From 15 to 19 September there will also be an information desk set up at the hospital for hearing-related questions.
According to Storm Manjerico, audiologist at the Hearing and Balance Clinic based at the hospital, “The ear is made up of three different sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear, which all work together to help you hear and process sounds.” Hearing loss or impairment occurs when there is a problem with one or more parts of the ear caused by any of the following:
- Exposure to loud noise
- Trauma or injury to the head
- A ruptured eardrum
- Viral infections or other disease
- Genetics – hearing loss that runs in the family
- Malformation of the inner ear
- Bacterial infections such as otitis media
“Children with mild to moderate hearing loss often go undiagnosed, which can result in significant speech and language difficulties, and affect their academic performance,” she adds. Hearing loss can impact the lives of individuals significantly. It can negatively affect a person’s work performance, education and learning, as well as safety and social wellbeing. Individuals with hearing loss often withdraw from social settings and are at a greater risk for depression. “Unfortunately, many people suffering from hearing loss live with these difficulties for years before seeking treatment,” says Manjerico.
If you suspect you may have hearing loss, it is vital that you get screened. Once diagnosed, your audiologist will discuss what treatment options are available to you. These may include removing an earwax blockage, a surgical procedure, wearing a hearing aid or even having a cochlear implant if you have severe hearing loss.
Unlike a hearing aid, which amplifies sound and directs it into your ear canal, a cochlear implant compensates for damaged or non-working parts of your inner ear. “By getting the treatment you need you can drastically improve your quality of life, achieve a greater sense of self-confidence and security, develop closer relationships with your loved ones and decrease your chances of depression,” asserts Manjerico.
“Netcare Mulbarton Hospital and the Hearing and Balance Clinic are dedicated to providing excellent audiology services. Anyone interested in this community outreach initiative can visit www.hearcare.co.za for more information, or call the Hearing and Balance Clinic on 011 682 1585 to book an appointment for a free hearing screening,” concludes Nellie Koen, hospital manager at Netcare Mulbarton Hospital.
Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare Mulbarton Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Beswick and Jillian Penaluna
Telephone: (011) 469 3016