May is Better Speech and Hearing Month!

Carli Van Harken
Latest posts by Carli Van Harken (see all)

Celebrate May with us at Comprehensive Ear & Hearing and get a hearing test. Yes, really, that would be a great way to celebrate because The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has long designated May as Better Speech and Hearing Month. This year’s theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.”

From infancy to adulthood, sounds enrich our lives and just generally work to make the world a better place. Beautiful music, the sounds of birds chirping, the wind through the trees and a whispered “I love you,” from a significant other. The staff at Comprehensive Ear & Hearing wants to take this time to encourage you to get your hearing tested, get treatment if necessary and get on with enjoying life.

Americans and Hearing Loss

From newborns to adults, hearing loss has an impact and not treating hearing loss presents some tough challenges – challenges no one needs and challenges that can be avoided with hearing devices.

Two out of every three children in every 1,000 births, has some detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears and, nearly 15% of children between ages 6 and 19 have hearing loss in one or both ears. About 37.5 million American adults, or 15% of the population age 18 and older, reports that have some hearing issues.

While newborns routinely get their hearing screened, even those who have problems noted in their initial health histories often don’t get proper follow-up care. Adults tend to skip follow-up care when it comes to hearing loss. Just one in seven adults, or approximately 14% of adults over 50 get and use hearing devices – even if they know they should use them and would benefit from them.

Hearing Loss Signs

Children need to be able to hear because it is a vital part of their language and communication development. Starting life with the burden of hearing loss means a future full of personal, academic, career and social challenges. It also has an impact on quality of life and  health issues.
Signs of hearing issues in children would include: lack of attention to sounds and noise, 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 problems interacting socially at school.

Hearing loss in adults is one of the most chronic health conditions. While many adults just view it as a nuisance or a natural part of aging, studies here and abroad show untreated hearing loss significantly affects an adult’s life. Untreated hearing loss in adults has been associated with dementia, diabetes, hypertension, sleep disorders, depression, more falls, social isolation and after the age of 70, a higher mortality rate.

Get Your Hearing Tested, It’s Worth It

The first step towards better hearing health is getting a hearing evaluation at Comprehensive Ear & Hearing. It’s private, comprehensive, painless and we will be able to pinpoint your hearing challenges.

Then we can introduce you to the marvelous world of technologically advanced hearing aids. These aren’t the flesh-colored clunky chunks of plastic attached to your ears with a big wire loop like your great grand-parents might have worn.  The new models are small, lightweight and fit directly in the ear or ear canal. Over the ear models are also discreet and they come in a variety of styles and colors. They will let you stream sound directly from your phone, your iPad, your computer and your television. They adjust on your phone with an app or on a small remote.

There’s even a hearing aid model that will track your body and brain health. They can filter out background noise and you can enjoy a conversation at a restaurant and not be embarrassed you don’t understand the server! They are GPS equipped so if you adjust them at a certain location, they will “remember” the adjustment when you return to that area. And there’s plenty of help for you to get used to the technology at your own speed. The hearing aid manufacturers have helplines and they also have tutorials on line that you can view at your leisure.

So, this May, celebrate better hearing and call Comprehensive Ear & Hearing for a hearing evaluation.