Monday, September 12, 2022
Hearing Loss in the Media Can Destigmatize the Condition for Pediatric Patients
Portrayals of individuals with hearing loss have become a trend in recent films and TV shows. Characters with hearing loss have recently appeared in titles such as “A Star is Born," “Sound of Metal," “CODA," “El Deafo," and Marvel Studios' “Hawkeye."
Coauthors Dr. Alexander Chern, a resident physician in otolaryngology-head & neck surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia and Weill Cornell), and Michael W. Denham, a fourth-year medical student at Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, highlight this connection in their column “Hollywood Helps Fight the Stigma of Hearing Loss," which appears in the September 2022 issue of The Hearing Journal.
“Children often look to superheroes as role models," write the coauthors, “and the entertainment industry can play a valuable public health role by giving children with deafness more figures to look up to."
Positive portrayals of hearing loss in popular TV shows and movies can have a big impact on pediatric patients. Audiologists should embrace this trend as a helpful tool when looking for ways to care for both the physical and emotional health of pediatric patients.
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