Feb 2019 EdexLive

You can now check hearing on your own without any specialist's interference. The World Health Organisation on 'World Hearing Day' released a free app that allows people to check their hearing. The 'Hear WHO' app will be used to raise awareness about the importance of hearing, encourage people to check their hearing regularly and practice safe listening. This will also allow health workers to check the hearing status of people in their communities. "Early detection of hearing loss is crucial for its effective rehabilitation. In order to ensure that hearing loss is noticed as early as possible, all people should check their hearing from time to time, especially those who are at risk of higher risk of hearing loss," said a release from WHO. The app is based on validated digits-in-noise technology. It gives the general public access to a hearing screener to check their hearing status and monitor it over time. The easy to use app clearly displays the users' results and keeps a personalised track record of their hearing status over time.

According to the WHO, up to 1.1 billion young people (between the ages of 12–35 years) are at risk of experiencing hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings. More than 43 million people between the ages of 12–35 years live with a disabling hearing loss due to a variety of causes. Among teenagers and young adults aged 12–35 years in middle to high-income countries, nearly 50% are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from the use of personal audio devices, and around 40% are exposed to potentially damaging sound levels at clubs, discos, and bars.

The app which is presently available only in the English Language according to WHO will be made available in other languages by late 2019. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices.

"The app is recommended for those who commonly listen to loud music over personal audio devices. It can also be used by health workers to screen people in the community for hearing loss and refer them for diagnostic testing if they fail the screening," the information from WHO said.

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