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Canaries hailed as pioneer alongside US in hearing problems 

Two out of every 1,000 children born in Spain need cochlear implants to be able to hear. In Spain, a pioneering country for 30 years in the investigation of deafness, two per cent of children are born with this pathology and ten per cent of the adult population need these implantable systems

The XXXI Congress of the Politzer Society was recently held in Gran Canaria, together with the second edition of the World Otology Research Forum, involving more than 700 experts. Their topic was to address breakthroughs in research, medicine and surgery in the fields of otology and neurotology, related to diseases of the ear.

The international meeting was attended by professionals from around 90 countries.

President of the congress, professor of the ULPGC, doctor Ángel Ramos Macías, who is also the head of the Otolaryngology Department of the Granary University Hospital Insular-Maternal Infantile Complex of Gran Canaria and president of the Politzer Society, said deafness affects a a significant per-centage of the Spanish po-pulation, since “two of every 1,000 children are born with this pathology and one in ten adults are not able to defend themselves with natural ears and need cochlear implants.”

In this sense, he argues that “the Canary Islands have made a very important effort in health policies against deafness, in the field of early detection, treatment and information of the disease.”

“Today, we have access to the most advanced treatments in the world early in our autonomous community,” he adds.

Regarding innovations in engineering, Professor Marco Caversaccio presented the latest developments in robotics and Professor Bert de Foer, the new technologies of image of the skull and the ear.

There was also discussion about syndrome of Ménierè which affecs the vestibular system of the inner ear and is characterised by episodes of vertigo, loss of hearing and tinnitus, among other symp-toms.

The Canary Islands is considered a reference in the area of otology, to the point of being compared to other places such as the United States and some European countries. Currently, Canary teams made up of doctors, engineers and physicists work, through the Canary Health Service and the Canary Islands universities, in several im-portant lines of research, such as cochlear implants, hearing preservation and new im-plantation.