Deafness or hearing impairment may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, use of some drugs, exposure to excessive noise or ageing. According to WHO (World Health Organization), 360 million people across the globe have disabling hearing loss and 32 million among these are children. 60% of the childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes. More than a billion young people (12-35 years) are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings. Unaddressed hearing loss poses a loss of 750 billion US Dollars per annum, globally.
Interventions to prevent, identify and address hearing loss are cost effective and can bring great benefit to individuals and the society. People with hearing loss benefit from early identification. Use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices, sign language, training and rehabilitation along with social support.