May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!
Matthew Favinger, M.S., F-AAA

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The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has long designated May as Better Speech and Hearing Month and this year’s theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” At Hearing Aid Associates, we believe you deserve better hearing for all of your lifetime. It is important that Americans realize the impact of hearing loss from newborns to seniors and recognize that hearing devices can transform your life.

Hearing Loss in America

Hearing loss affects individuals from infancy to adulthood yet early intervention is often not occurring even though the impacts of untreated hearing loss are quite severe. At Hearing Aid Associates, we encourage you get an evaluation annually, or more often if you feel your hearing is at risk.

In every 1,000 births, two out of three children will have a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears and, almost 15% of children between 6 and 19 have hearing loss in one or both ears. About 15% of American adults – or about 37.5 million – ages 18 and older indicate they have some trouble hearing, according to government health surveys. Newborns routinely get their hearing screened, but even those flagged with potential hearing difficulties don’t often obtain follow-up care.

The statistics for follow-up care for adults are also poor. Only one in seven adults, or approximately 14% of adults over 50 get and use hearing devices even though they have hearing loss and could benefit from amplification.

Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss

For children, proper hearing is critical for their language and communication development. Starting life with untreated hearing loss leads to a future of academic and social challenges. Moving into adulthood, it means career limitations as well as quality of life and health issues.

In children, signs of hearing issues include: lack of attention to sounds, not responding when you call their name, not being able to follow simple verbal commands, delays in speech and language development, pulling, scratching or digging in their ears, academic difficulties especially in reading and math and problems with social isolation at school.

Hearing loss in adults is one of the most chronic health conditions. Sadly, many adults just view it as a nuisance or a natural part of aging. Numerous studies here and abroad show untreated hearing loss significantly affects an adult’s life. Untreated hearing loss in adults has been associated with dementia. A Johns Hopkins study shows adults with mild, moderate and severe hearing loss were 2, 3 and 5 times more likely to be susceptible to dementia.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to be suffering from hearing loss, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Adults with hearing loss are nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. As hearing loss advances, the chances of falling increase dramatically, as must as by 140%! Researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders have found a strong link between social isolation and depression and hearing loss.

New & Improved Hearing Technology

New models are small, lightweight and fit directly in the ear or ear canal. But, the over the ear models are also discreet and they come in a variety of styles and colors. The new hearing devices will allow you to stream sound directly from your phone, your iPad, your computer and your television. They adjust on your phone if you wish or with small remotes that look like the modern car key fobs. If you have to adjust your hearing aids for certain areas, the newer models “remember” the adjustments and automatically adjust when you are back at that location.

Hearing Aid Associates

At Hearing Aid Associates, we have more than 30 years of experience in the field of hearing loss and treatment. The first step is getting a no-obligation hearing evaluation and through an array of comprehensive – and painless! – audiology tests, we can pinpoint ear issues or hearing challenges. We are well-versed and trained in evaluating your lifestyle and expectations to help you choose hearing devices that will do the most for you. Your comfort and satisfaction are our primary concerns and we can help you adjust and use the hearing aids that have marvelous technological advancements. So, this May, commit to enjoying all that life has to offer and get your hearing checked at Hearing Aid Associates.