This simple test can help kids hear better | Susan Emmett | Summary and Q&A

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This simple test can help kids hear better | Susan Emmett

TL;DR

Discover the impact of hearing loss on Alaskan Native people and how mobile telemedicine can revolutionize access to care globally.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does hearing loss impact the activities central to Alaskan Native culture?

Hearing loss makes it hard for Alaskan Native people to engage in activities such as fishing on the open water, hunting caribou, and harvesting berries, all of which are central to their culture.

Q: How many people worldwide are estimated to be living with hearing loss?

The Global Burden of Disease Project estimates that there are 1.1 billion people living with hearing loss worldwide, which is more than the entire population of sub-Saharan Africa.

Q: What percentage of people with hearing loss are in low- and middle-income countries?

Over 80 percent of people with hearing loss are in low- and middle-income countries, where many have no access to hearing care.

Q: What are the consequences of untreated hearing loss in children like Anuk?

If left untreated, children like Anuk who have hearing loss are more likely to lag behind in speech development, have worse academic and job prospects, and experience social isolation.

Q: How can telemedicine help overcome the barriers to hearing loss evaluation and treatment in remote settings?

Alaska has developed a state-of-the-art telemedicine system that connects over 250 village health clinics with specialists. This allows for remote screening and examination of ear-related issues, eliminating the need for expensive flights or access to permanent medical equipment.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Hearing loss is a global issue, with 1.1 billion people worldwide living with hearing loss, primarily in low- and middle-income countries.

  • The impact of hearing loss on individuals' lives can be significant, affecting speech development, education, job prospects, and social connections.

  • Telemedicine, combined with mobile screening technology, has the potential to revolutionize access to hearing care, particularly in remote and underserved areas, and prevent childhood hearing loss on a global scale.

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