“In Italy 7 million people, practically more than 10% of the entire population, have hearing problems. The incidence of hearing loss increases with age: one in 3 is over 65. But yes estimates that there are many more because too many do not arrive at a diagnosis. However, by intervening soon, good prosthetic results can be obtained. Unfortunately in this Italy is lagging behind among European countries, because there is still little confidence in treatment Among those with hearing loss it is still difficult to accept the prosthesis, because putting on the prosthesis means admitting that they suffer from deafness. Many are not yet willing to deal with this disability “. Thus at Adnkronos Salute Stefano Berrettini, president of the Italian Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics (Siaf) and Director of the Otolaryngology Audiology and Phoniatrics of the University Hospital of Pisa, on the sidelines of the 108th National Congress of the Italian Society of Otolaryngology and Neck Surgery facial, in progress in Rome until Saturday 28 May.
“The congress – he explains – was an opportunity to address all branches of audiology, with in-depth studies in the infantile field in diagnosis and newborn hearing screening which in Italy is mandatory and recognized by Lea’s. We addressed the issue of screening in order to to improve it, perfect it and we discussed how to get from screening to diagnosis and treatment. A very important issue from a social point of view. In addition, we went into the treatment of deafness, both in the mild forms and in the more severe and profound ones, including those that affect children, through prosthetic solutions, in particular the cochlear implant “.
Hearing problems are “more frequent in infancy and at birth – underlines Berrettini – Just think of congenital deafness: one child in a thousand is born deaf and 0.6-0.8 with profound deafness. Fortunately today for these children there is a ‘is the solution, and it is the cochlear implant with which they reach communicative and language autonomy almost equal or equal to their peers who do not have hearing problems “.
Timely diagnosis is fundamental “through screening and early prosthetic treatment – warns the expert – We carry out identification at birth, diagnosis within 2-3 months of life, treatment with prostheses within 4 months and eventually implantation cochlear from 10 months of life onwards. This way of proceeding reduces the hearing loss of the child and significantly improves the results “.
The newborn hearing screening is performed in neonatology and birth centers, “not only on children at risk – concludes Berrettini – but on all children. It is in fact a universal examination. Over the years, however, the first alarm bells begin to appear. (the child hears words less, has difficulty in understanding communication between several people in a noisy environment and for this reason tends to isolate himself) it is necessary to intervene immediately.
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