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Current Events in Hearing Loss Culture

Mayweather vs. Pacquaio vs. Hearing Loss

If you’ve watched TV or surfed the web these last few days, you probably know that on May 2nd, there was the much-hyped “Fight of the Century” between boxers Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio. Whether you actually watched the fight or just heard about it, the news was hard to miss. While many find it exciting, boxing is one of many sports that can cause serious injuries. In particular, violent head trauma is a huge danger for boxers who spend years in the ring. Audicus wants to take a closer look at the repercussions of contact sports, like boxing, on a person’s hearing.

We’ve previously talked about the dangers of football—many players who have suffered concussions and other head injuries report hearing problems later on in life, like hearing loss or tinnitus. A concussion, which is a type of traumatic brain injury that shakes the brain inside the skull, has a large number of long-lasting problems. A concussion heightens a person’s risk for hearing loss, and can sometimes cause temporary or permanent deafness. Boxing moves that cause severe head trauma, like punching an opponent’s head or ear, can dislodge middle-ear bones, leading to hearing loss or tinnitus. Cauliflower ear, a common ailment for boxers, is also related to hearing loss. Cauliflower ear indicates trauma to the ear, and can also cause hearing loss or tinnitus if left untreated for too long. When participating in these sports, it’s incredibly important to wear proper headgear to protect your precious ears!

Nepalese Organization Promotes Hearing Health

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In light of the devastating earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal last week, Audicus wants to focus on a bright spot in Nepalese hearing health—Himalayan Health and Hearing (HH&H), a charitable organization founded in 2009 by Australian volunteers who are committed to promoting hearing health around Nepal and the Himalayan region. HH&H travels around Nepal, focusing on the most remote areas. There, many deaf and hard-of-hearing people are isolated within their communities, since it is difficult for others to communicate with them. A lack of health education and basic ear hygiene also results in chronic ear infections for both children and adults, which can lead to hearing loss or deafness. HH&H provides ear care, education, and free surgeries to lessen the amount of hearing loss. They also provide hearing devices, like hearing aids and hearing amplifiers that make life much easier for those with hearing loss.

Illinois Invests in Citizens with Hearing Loss

Illinois has introduced a new, custom telephone for its residents with hearing loss. The phone is a specially-amplified telephone, that allows those who are hard of hearing to easily hear and talk on the phone. Using a telephone or a cell phone can be a great challenge for someone with hearing loss, and can be incredibly frustrating and lead to a lack of communication and interaction with friends or family. These new amplifier telephones are being offered for free to permanent Illinois residents who have certified hearing loss, which will certainly make communication with their loved ones a lot easier!

Run, Justin, Run!

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Justin Osmond, nephew to singing duo Donny and Marie, was born with significant hearing loss. Although nearly deaf, he was always surrounded by music and eventually became a talented violinist. Hearing loss has always plagued the Osmond family and in 1983, Olive Osmond founded the Osmond Foundation to provide resources to the deaf and hard of hearing (and eventually grew into the Children’s Miracle Network). Justin Osmond founded the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund in 2004 after his grandmother died, to continue her legacy of charity. He has traveled all over the world with his organization and helping children with hearing loss, but recently ended up back in his own Southern Utah home, where he decided to run 250 miles to fundraise for 25 Utah children in need of new or upgraded hearing aids. He began his eight-day odyssey on Saturday, starting with an easy 5k run as a warm-up, and has been running ever since. We need more people like Justin Osmond, who know firsthand how difficult hearing loss can be and choose to make a difference!

By: Elena McPhillips

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