Audiologist, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust,
'Prevention is better than cure’ is an adage that is attributed to the Dutch philosopher, Desiderius Erasmus, in around 1500. It is a principle which has guided modern medicine and forms the basis of many governmental health strategies around the world, but how much prevention are we involved with in the world of audiology?
When I googled ‘role of an audiologist’ all the keywords you would expect came up relating to identifying and treating hearing and vestibular disorders, but nowhere in that first page of searches was there any mention of the preventative role audiologists can play. Robert Shepheard has been passionate about this subject for many years now and shares his ideas about the proactive approach we can play in the prevention of hearing loss.
Fall prevention in the elderly is a hot topic; with a global ageing population and one in three people over the age of 65 expected to have a fall over the next year, it is imperative that healthcare providers do as much as they can to tackle this problem. In her article, Lilian Felipe examines the causal pathway of falls in the elderly and shares the programmes which have been designed to avert these potentially catastrophic life events occurring, including the benefit of vestibular rehabilitation for this patient group.
Cisplatin is a life-saving chemotherapy drug which is used widely to treat a variety of cancers and is also well known to be ototoxic, with incidences of cisplatin-induced hearing loss reported to be 12-100%. Christopher Spankovich and Alberto Arteaga share their fascinating research looking at a novel approach to preventing these effects.
The final article in this issue sets out to tackle the problem of occupational noise-induced hearing loss (ONIHL). As David Greenberg highlights, hearing loss prevention programmes that have been implemented thus far are clearly failing, as year on year we continue to see patients with ONIHL in our clinics. He discusses the potential benefits of smart hearing protection, as well as a call to arms to audiologists and ENT specialists alike to take up an educational role when it comes to ONIHL.