World Hearing Day 2020: Theme, Significance and Causes of Hearing Loss

World Hearing Day 2020: The World Hearing Day 2020 was observed across the world on March 3, 2020 with the theme “Hearing for life, don’t let hearing loss limit you”. On the occasion, the World Health Organization (WHO) aims to highlight that timely and effective care can enable people with hearing loss to achieve their full potential.

WHO commemorates World Hearing Day each year by deciding the theme and developing brochures and other advocacy materials including posters and banners. WHO also organizes an annual World Hearing Day seminar.


The World Hearing Day aims to raise awareness about how to prevent deafness and hearing loss and promote hearing care across the world. Globally there is a lack of access to interventions that can help address hearing loss such as hearing aids.  

World Hearing Day 2020 theme: “Hearing for life, don’t let hearing loss limit you”


Good hearing health and communication will help connect people to each other and the world. Those suffering from hearing loss can get access to education, employment and communication with appropriate and timely interventions.

What is hearing loss?

A person is said to be suffering from hearing loss or deafness if he or she is unable to hear as well as a person with normal hearing. The hearing loss can be moderate, moderately severe, severe or extremely severe and can affect either one or both ears.  

What are the causes of hearing loss?

There are multiple causes for hearing loss, most prominent of which are genetic factors and complications at birth. The other causes include chronic ear infections, usage of certain drugs or exposure to loud noise. Aging is another factor that causes loss of hearing or deafness.

Difference between deafness and hard of hearing


Hard of Hearing

A person is described as ‘deaf’ when he or she has severe hearing loss in both ears and is unable to hear anything.

The condition of those with mild to severe hearing problem is described as ‘hard of hearing’. Though these people are not completely deaf, they cannot hear as properly as someone with normal hearing.


Hearing Aids

There are many interventions that can enable people with untreatable hearing loss to hear and communicate with ease. These include cochlear implants, hearing aids, auditory training, speech and language therapy and other assistive devices.


Around 466 million people across the world are estimated to be suffering from hearing loss, which amounts to almost 6.1 percent of the world’s population. Further, over 1 billion young people, between the ages of 12-35 years, are at risk of suffering from hearing loss due to recreational exposure to loud sounds. The overall annual cost of unaddressed hearing loss globally is USD 750 billion.

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