Face to face with hearing impairment

3 May 2006

Cinthia Mendes Pereira
WHO/Chris de Bode
Cinthia was diagnosed with hearing loss at a young age and was fitted with a hearing aid

These stories are the latest in a series of people living with chronic diseases. In a world where more and more people are dying as a result of chronic diseases, and many more millions are disabled, these stories aim to demonstrate the strong and personal impact of chronic diseases on individuals and their families.

These three people – Marinah, Luciano and Cinthia – live with hearing impairment or deafness. Like millions of others worldwide, their stories are important because too often hearing impairment is an "invisible disability" – unnoticed and overlooked.

Worldwide, over 275 million people are estimated to have moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears. Fewer than one in 40 people who need hearing aids have them. Eighty percent of hearing impaired people live in low- and middle-income countries, and one quarter of hearing impairment begins during childhood.

These stories show how simple and inexpensive ways to prevent and manage hearing impairment are helping to improve people's lives. WHO recommends early detection and intervention as key to preventing and managing hearing impairment. The most effective interventions can be done at the primary level of health care.

Photo stories

Face to face with hearing impairment: Marinah’s story

Face to face with hearing impairment: Luciano and Cinthia’s stories

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