Rehabilitation for hearing impaired children: Challenging task before the society
Dr. Sayed Mazheruddin
Hearing impairment is caused by a disturbance of the conduction of sound to the inner ear, the perception of sound by the sensory cells of the cochlea, or the processing of sound in the cochlear nerves, the auditory pathway, or the cortical auditory centers. It is distinct from other hearing disturbances such as hyperacusis (oversensitivity to sound), fluctuating hearing, and tinnitus. According to the World Health Organization, hearing loss is one of the six leading contributors to the global burden of disease. It is becoming an ever more important problem in society at large, not just because the population is aging, but also because young people increasingly spend their leisure time in activities that expose them to excessive noise. On the other hand, the treatment of hearing loss is improving, as the result of technical developments in ontological surgery, hearing aids, and cochlear implants. For nearly every type of hearing loss, there is now some type of rehabilitative treatment. Hearing impairment may delink the child not only from the society but also from the family. The prevalence of deafness/ hearing impairment in India is fairly significant. It is the second most common cause of disability. Approximately 63 million people (6.3%) in India suffer from significant auditory loss. Rehabilitation of hearing impaired children in India remains a challenging task. Early detection and intervention is the mainstay of this initiative. We discuss here the resources and options available in India for the education of deaf/ hearing impaired children and the role of the Government bodies in rehabilitation. Awareness about education and rehabilitation of hearing handicapped is low among the general public and even among the medical fraternity.