May has been Better Hearing and Speech Month for the past 79 years. This month, the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) focuses on communication issues, including hearing loss. It offers audiologists and hearing specialists resources to help spread the word on better hearing health. ‘Building Connections’ is the theme of Better Hearing and Speech Month this year.
As we continue to move past this pandemic, ASHA encourages all to examine their speech and hearing and make meaningful changes in their lives to reconnect with their friends, family, and the wider world. Recognizing hearing loss and being fitted for hearing aids can dramatically enhance communication, allow for deeper interactions, and restore relationships for those living with untreated hearing loss.
If an annual hearing check-up isn’t already part of your routine, now is the time to incorporate it into your overall health care strategy.
When to see a hearing professional
Since hearing loss can occur gradually, it can be challenging to determine when our hearing health has reached the point where intervention is required.
There are a few subtle indicators that it’s time to see a hearing specialist. Hearing loss does not only manifest as a reduction in volume; it can also manifest as a distortion in your natural hearing. For example, you might notice that people around you are suddenly mumbling their sentences.
Perhaps you’ve developed the habit of constantly asking people to repeat themselves, oblivious to the fact that this is a massive deviation from your previous, stable hearing abilities. This is a warning sign that you have hearing loss in your life. If you’re in a noisy setting, you may find yourself turning up the volume on your devices or needing to listen with effort.
Hearing tests are painless and straightforward, which is excellent news. When a hearing problem is detected, it is usually not reversible, but it is quickly handled. Audiology employs cutting-edge technology to help you incorporate improved hearing into your daily routine. You might be kicking yourself for not addressing the issue sooner!
Early treatment matters
When it comes to hearing loss, it’s best to get help as soon as possible.
And the only way to avoid future hearing loss is to intervene in hearing loss as soon as possible. The majority of people who seek hearing aids see a reduction in the incidence of hearing loss, if not a complete halt.
Hearing affects more than just listening patterns. Putting in extra effort in conversation can be taxing, and hearing loss can lead to feelings of loneliness. This is one of the reasons why untreated hearing loss is often related to depression. Furthermore, our communication patterns assist our brains in performing at their best. Our brains suffer when our hearing and speech are impaired. This may be why hearing loss is often attributed to dementia in the elderly.
It’s never too soon to practice good hearing health!
In the United States, hearing loss is the third most common health condition. This will only worsen as we turn up the volume in so many aspects of our lives. We live in a time where it is all too easy to expose our ears to loud noise.
Many of us grab a pair of headphones together with our car keys as we walk out the door. The misuse of headphones and earphones will gradually but noticeably damage our hearing over time. Keep an eye on the volume on all of your devices, particularly those unobservable and therefore out of context, such as headphone volume and car audio.
While most of us agree that hearing loss is a normal part of growing older, you may be shocked to learn that half of all hearing-impaired people are under the age of 65. Since hearing loss is sometimes permanent, it’s essential to protect your children’s ears whenever possible. Make sure the volume on your devices is set to acceptable levels as well. Most devices have parental controls, which are usually found in the Settings menu under the heading ‘Restrictions.’ These are simple to set ahead of time to ensure that your children maintain a safe barometer when it comes to the volumes they enjoy when watching their favorite shows or playing video games.
This month, make an effort to lay the groundwork to reconnect with those who mean the most to you. Contact us today to set up an appointment.