Every child must undergo hearing test after birth: Lee

Every child must undergo hearing test after birth: Lee

Every child must undergo hearing test after birth: Lee

Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee is the global brand ambassador for Cochlear, the company that deals with cochlear implants.

In an interview with DH, he spoke about the need to create awareness and screening for hearing loss at birth. Lee was in Bengaluru on the occasion of World Hearing Day.

What draws you to be a part of Cochlear?

My son had a hearing impairment briefly after a fall. As a parent, I was concerned. At school, he began listening to the teacher with the left ear forward. Luckily, his hearing came back to normal. I can relate to the challenges that other parents face.

Is there a lesson India can learn from other countries when it comes to hearing impairment.

Yes, I would urge every parent to ensure the child undergoes screening soon after birth. In Australia, every child born in an institute undergoes screening for hearing. There is no reason why India, such a large country, should not be doing this. Like in cricket, you want to make sure you want to be in the game from the first ball.

Not often do we see hearing tests as part of routine health checks. It takes a back seat compared to other specialities. Is it lack of awareness or stigma?

If we look back, many years ago, people would not wear glasses because of the stigma attached to it. Now, guys and girls wear glasses as it is fashionable. It is accepted over a period of time. Hearing is the only sense that you can get back once lost. If a person has no eyes for various reasons, nothing can be done about it. For hearing, there is an option.

Can you recollect one of the cases from the past which made an impact on you

Every case has been special. I visited a 35-year-old woman from India who underwent the transplant. Today, she can hear her daughter sing. To see the mother-daughter singing harmonies is beautiful. That is what life is about.