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Expert warns against hearing loss due to earpiece, others

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The Chief Executive Officer of International Hearing Centre Nigeria (IHC), Dr. Irene Okeke-Igbokwe has warned that wrong use of earpiece from cell phones, exposure to loud noise, and medication, could cause hearing loss.

Okeke-Igbokwe, who is a former Director, Nigerian Army Audiological Centre, gave the warning while addressing participants at a free hearing screening and health counselling at the IHC’s centres across Nigeria, as part of activities to mark this year’s World Hearing Day.

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She said although there were no widely acceptable studies or data on the number of people with hearing loss in Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates “that 1.5b people live with some degree of hearing loss globally, out of which around over five percent of the world’s population or 430m people require rehabilitation to address their ‘disabling’ hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children).

She said it was projected that by 2050, 2.5 billion people worldwide or one in four people would be living with some degree of hearing loss, adding that nearly 80 percent of people with disabling hearing loss live in low and middle income countries, including Nigeria, with the largest population in Africa.

She urged Nigerians to pay special attention to their hearing status by undergoing hearing screening yearly, noting that this would reduce the increasing number of Nigerians suffering from all levels of hearing loss.

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