By Mike Puia
‘SICKNESS in the ear can lead to permanent loss of hearing or even death’.
This is according to the clinical nurse in-charge of the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Unit within the National Referral Hospital (NRH), Mary Loduha.
Loduha was speaking to this paper on Saturday, a special day for the Unit- being the World Hearing Day.
She said ear sickness is a silent illness that is common among children.
“Based on cases we received, children are the common group of people that experience ear problem,” Loduha said.
She said ear sickness is dangerous as when it reaches the brain it can cause brain disease.
She said when an ear sickness reaches the brain the person who is suffering from the sickness will either die or suffer chronic disease such as loss of hearing.
Loduha said their Unit knows there are people who died as a result of ear sickness but they (Unit) have not been able to find out the exact number.
“If proper research is done, we would know exactly how many people die as a result of ear sickness,” Loduha said.
Among other things, she said ear sickness is caused by junk food, no proper hygiene, lack of good nose clearing, poor oral health care and less water intake.
Loduha advised parents to bring their children who complain about their ear to the ENT Unit for early check.
“It is better to bring children who are complaining about their ear early as 80% of ear sicknesses are preventable,” Loduha said.
She said when ear sickness reaches a severe stage their Unit has little to do with it as they have no facilities and equipment.
She said they are lucky that Australian ear specialists regularly visited the country to offer ear service.
Another team of ear doctors will arrive in the country next week. The team will spend a week at the NRH before traveling to Kilu’ufi hospital in Malaita for another week.