CONNECTION BETWEEN HEPATITIS AND SPEECH,HEARING PROBLEMS

Hi Everyone.Today we observed World Hepatitis day and the theme was "Hepatitis cann't wait".This theme was kept because our focus is now more on this pandemic and we may ignore hepatitis but it is taking life in a much greater speed than expected.In every 30 second one person is loosing his/her life due to Hepatitis.So,let us know What exactly hepatitis is.It is the inflammation of liver, to be specific it is the swelling or irritation of liver cells due to any cause like viral(Hepatotrphic virus which has strains like A,B,C,D,E),long-term medication,long-term alcohol consumption,autoimmune Hepatitis (where our own body is fighting and damaging the liver cells),toxic causes like chemical exposure,lead exposure etc. Hepatitis A& E are self limiting (go by their own ,no specific treatment needed)which spreads predominantly by food,water contamination. Strain B&C spread by blood or bodily fluid contact and Hepatitis B & C are more commonly seen and need specialised treatment.Type D strain is seen in cases with previous history of Hepatitis-B. It can be avoided by maintaining healthy lifestyle,avoiding long-term medication and by vaccination for the same. vaccination is available for Hepatitis A& B .Govt.of India included Hepatitis vaccination in its UIP(UNIVERSAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM)so as to make sure every newborn gets vaccinated for Hepatitis. Coming to the connection between Hepatitis and Speech,Hearing Problems.In newborn cases neonnatal jaundice and Hepatitis is seen if it persists for a long period then there is a chance of delayed motor and speech milestone and other neurodevelopmental problem can be seen in that particular case.In adults or geriatric cases Hepatitis causes Sensorineural hearing loss as the virus affects the cochlea and viral infection inner ear is evident.In few Hepatitis cases sudden Sensorineural hearing loss is evident which reverses if treated within 72 hrs via steroid application,othewise it converts in to permanent one.The medication used for treating Hepatitis is ototoxic in nature,so it affects the hearing too.In severe cases or cancer of liver cases chemotherapy like cis-platin/carbo platin are used which are ototoxic in nature causing hearing loss in high frequencies.Hearing loss due to Hepatitis depends on the severity and hearing loss doesn't exceed more than moderate level in most of the cases. Let's get Vaccinated for Hepatitis,maintain healthy lifestyle,use alocohol and medication within a limit and get regular check up to know the condition of Liver. Thank you everyone. Satyabrata Panigrahi Lecturer in ASLP Audiologist and Speech Swallowing Specialist Master in Audiology and Speech language Pathology

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