Population Health Lecture 1

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Hearing Loss

The Silent Epidemic, it is an invisible handicap (one you cannot judge by looking at someone. 10% of New Zealanders suffer from Hearing Loss. Older people suffer from unmodifiable hearing loss. Modifiable factors include noise exposure. Main thing to reduce prevalence of Hearing loss is prevention. One type is conductive this is due to a blocked middle ear. In serious cases bacteria reaches cochlea and is irreversible. The second is noise induced and finally Presbyacusis which is predominantly age related

What you lose directly

Connection with others. You are no longer able to actilely participat in conversations (speech). It is harder to hear people speak in a noisy environment. This all subtely has an impact on the emotional well-being of an individual.The primary form of communication is speech. Lose higher frequencies first

Awareness. Harder to interact in a social environment. Struggle to hear environmental changes, such as a car coming when crossing the street. Soundscape.

Enjoyment. Listening to music becomes difficult. Can no longer enjoy pleasant sounds such as birds singing.

What you lose indirectly

Confidence. You may no longer feel comfortable going out as you don't feel 'safe' with a hearing impairment.

Social contact. You may start to become socially isolated as it is harder to follow conversations.

Mental Health. As you start to become more isolated suffers may experience depression.

What you


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