Increasing prevalence of hearing loss in India and ways to curb it

Over 27,000 children are born deaf every year in India. The problem of hearing impairment or loss is often ignored as it cannot be seen and, in most cases, identification is way more delayed. However, the burden of deafness is highly preventable and avoidable with clinical screening.

The high burden of deafness globally and in India is largely preventable and avoidable. The prevalence of deafness in Southeast Asia ranges from 4.6% to 8.8%. Nationwide disability surveys have estimated hearing loss to be the second most common cause of disability. 

As per the report launched on World Hearing Day 2021, nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide – or 1 in 4 people – will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050, warns the World Health Organisation (WHO). Of these, at least 700 million of these people will require access to ear and hearing care and other rehabilitation services if not responded timely.

WHO highlighted the need for rapid steps to prevent and address hearing loss by investing in and expanding access to ear and hearing care services.


To cater to this problem in India, the National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) was launched with the purpose of early identification, diagnosis, and treatment of ear problems responsible for hearing loss and deafness in them. 

This program is being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with the technical support of the Directorate General of Health Services. At the state level, the program is being implemented by the Department of Health & Family Welfare. State Nodal Officer preferably an ENT surgeon at the Directorate/ Secretariat level will provide technical guidance and expertise to the State Health Society for the purpose of implementation of the program in the various districts of the state.
The National Programme for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) was initiated on a pilot basis in the year 2006-07(January 2007) covering 25 districts of 10 states and 1 UT and has been expanded to 228 districts of 27 States /Union Territories in a phased manner till now. By the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan, 384 Districts will be taken up for program implementation.

As per the NPPCD, hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in humans today. As per WHO estimates in India, there are approximately 63 million people, who are suffering from Significant Auditory Impairment; this places the estimated prevalence at 6.3% of the Indian population. As per the NSSO survey, currently, there are 291 persons per one lakh population who are suffering from severe to profound hearing loss (NSSO, 2001). Of these, a large percentage is children between the ages of 0 to 14 years. With such a large number of hearing-impaired young Indians, it amounts to a severe loss of productivity, both physical and economic. An even larger percentage of our population suffers from milder degrees of hearing loss and unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss.

Among low-income countries, about 78% have fewer than one ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist per million population; 93% have fewer than one audiologist per million; only 17% have one or more speech therapists per million; and 50% have one or more teachers for the deaf per million. 

Preventing hearing loss 

  • Immunization for the prevention of rubella and meningitis
  • Improving maternal and neonatal care
  • Screening for early identification of otitis media and infections of the middle ear is very significant.
  • In adults, noise control, maintaining good ear hygiene, and listening to sounds within prescribed limits can reduce the risk of hearing loss.
Tags : #Hearingloss #Deafness #ENT #Earproblems #NPPCD #Otitismedia #Middleearinfection #Noisepollution #hearingimpaired #Medicircle #SmitaKumar

About the Author

Renu Gupta

With a background in Pharmacy which is the clinical health science that links medical science with chemistry, I had the desire to mix creativity to these fields. Medicircle provides me an avenue to apply my training in science and interest in creativity together.

View Profile

Related Stories

Loading Please wait...


Trending Now

Organ Transplant Scandal: Apollo Hospital Faces Government InquiryDecember 06, 2023
Breaking Barriers in Cancer Treatment: Max Healthcare's CAR-T Therapy PartnershipDecember 06, 2023
Exploring the Link Between Covid-19 Vaccination and Sudden Cardiac Arrests: ICMR StudyNovember 22, 2023
Powering the Future: China's Biodegradable Wireless System for Bioelectronic InnovationNovember 22, 2023
IMS BHU Pioneers Advanced Cardiac Care: Unveiling Cutting-Edge Technologies for Precise DiagnosisNovember 18, 2023
Inito's $6 Million Boost: Transforming Women's Health with AI-Backed Fertility MonitoringNovember 18, 2023
Madras High Court Advocates for Equality: PG Medical Students to Receive Incentive Marks for COVID-19 DutyNovember 18, 2023
Next-Gen Healthcare: CarePods and AI Redefine the Patient ExperienceNovember 17, 2023
Air Quality Crisis: Alarming Rise in Premature Births Linked to Air Quality in Begusarai, BiharNovember 17, 2023
Limerick Contest-2023: A Celebration of Wit and PoetryNovember 17, 2023
IIIT-Hyderabad among top 100 institutions for 5G Use Case LabNovember 17, 2023
Powerful, motivating and inspiring talks marked TEDx Hyderabad Women 2023 which was held with the theme "Two Steps ForwardNovember 17, 2023
Speaking the Diagnosis: How AI in Voice Analysis Is Revolutionizing Diabetes DetectionNovember 17, 2023
FDA Approves Zepbound: A New Medication for Weight Loss by Eli LillyNovember 17, 2023
CoverSelf Raises $8.2 Million in Seed Funding to Revolutionize Healthcare Claims with Innovative Fintech PlatformNovember 16, 2023
From Miracle to Medic: The Extraordinary Journey of India's First Paediatric Liver Transplant RecipientNovember 16, 2023
Combatting Chikungunya: Valneva's Chikungunya Vaccine Cleared by USFDA, Eyes India LaunchNovember 16, 2023
Global Corporate Summit 2023 with the theme Unlocking Opportunities in a Dynamic World heldNovember 16, 2023
2nd IHub-Data Mobility Summit heldNovember 16, 2023
Revolutionary AI-powered technology detects multiple abdominal pathologies simultaneouslyNovember 16, 2023