Hearing loss continues to be a major problem for all, 10% of population affected

Participants of the hearing workshop engaging in discussions
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Calls made for youths to turn down their music players

By Staff Writer

Calls are being made for youths in St. Kitts and Nevis to take hearing loss seriously, and turn down their head phones and other loud devices that can cause such a problem.

According to Kerry Austin, co-founder of Stark eye foundation the young people in the Federation must be cognizant of their hearing and listen to music or have telephone conversations at the minimal volume.

This call was made while Austin was addressing reporters’ questions on Wednesday (Sept. 28) at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, where she an other members of her foundation are carrying out a training session with locals nurses and care givers on hearing loss.

She explained that nearly 10% of populations around the world are affected by loss of hearing, while another 80% would have no knowledge of the signs showing that they are in the process of completely losing sound in their ears.

Against this backdrop, Austin pleaded with persons to adhere to their doctors advice and those who make public comments on the level of noise being emitted by phones, I Pods, MP3 players or even those mothers who take their babies to the events where loud music are played.

“One of the things that we really, really want to get over to mothers especially is they don’t think about the hearing when they go into these parties with loud music or loud Carnival events is that new born have super sensitive hearing and should not have any exposure to noise.” Austin noted.

She however noted that if it is necessary for parents to take their babies with them it is recommended that they use air muffs which can in most instances soften the level of music entering the ears.

For many years, then Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Patrick Martin has been advocating for parents to be careful with young children and in particular babies on the road during the Carnival period.

He had urged mothers to cover the ears of the babies when they were out on the road way when the trucks with the speaker boxes are passing.

“If you are going to go to a wild concert leave the child at home with the grandma and you can enjoy the party a whole lot more with the baby at home,” said Austin.

According to Austin, the training being undertaken at the Marriott Resort is all part of the drive to establish a base in the Caribbean region for hearing health care.

“We being with training of Community health nurses with 24 district nurses because they are already in the community…It would be a community model rather than a clinical model.”

She pointed out that the international group would not be undertaking any patient screening while on the islands, but rather when the training is fully completed, the nurses would then implement what they would have learnt and then diagnose the seeking treatment.

Austin noted that the aim of the project is to have a small stable and sustainable model in St. Kitts and Nevis that would be able to function in their absence.

The group has been undertaken a number of projects in the Federation over the last five year, Austin disclosed.

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