Abu Dhabi, March 11, 2021: Ambulatory Healthcare Services, a SEHA healthcare facility, is launching a number of initiatives to mark World Hearing Day. As a part of its campaign, AHS is shedding the light on some of the issues and challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the prolonged use of earphones and the communication challenges faced by people with hearing difficulties, who make up 20% of the world population according to the World Health Organization.
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Omar Al Jabri, Chief Medical Officer at Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS) said “Every year we celebrate World Hearing Day to highlight the latest issues pertaining to hearing and, undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on all aspects of our life, including hearing. For example, people with hearing difficulties are facing challenges when communicating with others as they are unable to read their lips due to the mask. That is why this year we launched an initiative to provide masks marked with a hearing disability icon to enable healthcare providers to easily recognize people with hearing difficulties and adapt their communication, whether through speaking slowly and more clearly, or repeating, or communicating through writing. We were also delighted this year to surprise 4 of our patients with hearing aids presented to them in collaboration with Touch of Health.”
Dr. Zafeer Ahmad, Chair of the ENT Department at AHS, added saying “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are using earphones for prolonged periods of time to communicate with family and friends and to attend virtual meetings, which increases the risk of developing hearing loss. That's why we organized an awareness campaign to educate our patients on techniques to reduce this risk, such as avoiding increasing the volume to cover up outside noise, and shifting to a room with less noise in the background, setting the volume to a maximum of 50% or less, and using earphones in both ears to hear better. We also advise people to refrain from using earphones, if they have excessive ear wax.”
Dr. Zafeer added “As a part of the campaign, we also educate patients on the symptoms of hearing loss and the importance of regular checkups. Parents are also advised to monitor their children's response to sounds and their speech and understanding abilities, and raise their concern to their family physician or pediatrician in order to identify and diagnose any issues early.”
AHS provides comprehensive hearing diagnostic and curative services across its network, with ENT clinics available in Al Bahia, Al Falah, Madinat Mohamed bin Zayed, Al Zafaranah Diagnostic & Screening Centers, and Al Mushrif Children's Specialty Center in Abu Dhabi, and Al Hayer, Al Hili, Sweihan, Al Qua, Oud Al Touba Diagnostic & Screening Center, and Al Towayya Children's Specialty Center in Al Ain.
In addition, AHS provides audiology booth diagnostic services in Madinat Mohamed bin Zayed, Al Zafaranah Diagnostic & Screening Center in Abu Dhabi and Al Hili and Oud Al Touba Diagnostic & Screening Center in Al Ain. Specialized occupational hearing clinics are available in Al Madina Occupational Healthcare Center in Abu Dhabi and the Occupational Health Clinic in the Disease Prevention & Screening Center in Al Ain.