Hearing loss affects 48 million people in the United States and can occur at birth or can develop at any age. There have been many advances in all aspects of hearing health care to benefit the youngest infant to the eldest senior citizen.
For over 75 years, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has designated the month of May as Better Hearing and Speech Month — a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments to include those of hearing, speech, language, and voice. Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society – babies, seniors, the disabled, and the poor and ASHA strives to improve these conditions.
The theme for 2019 is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” This includes protection, prevention, knowing the signs of hearing loss and knowing the latest treatments.
Untreated hearing loss can have a range of consequences that depends on the individual and their unique type of hearing loss. The most common experience is a reduced ability to understand other people, particularly in noisy situations. This can impact how people interact with family and friends, and loved ones making it difficult to learn at school and or perform duties in the workplace competently. This can lead people with hearing loss to withdraw from social situations, leading to isolation, depression and brain diseases such as dementia.
Day to day communication among loved ones, whether about important matters or casual humor, is the cornerstone of healthy relationships. Hearing loss can cause those small but important interactions to be lost. When communication breaks down, frustration creeps in. That frustration can lead to resentment, which leads to further breakdown in communication and intimacy. Fortunately, most communication breakdowns that occur through hearing loss can be resolved with the use of hearing aids. The problem is that only 1 out of 4 people who need them wear hearing aids. That means 75 percent of those with hearing loss are putting the quality of their lives at risk.
If left untreated, hearing loss can have other negative social and health impacts in both adults and children that go beyond the hearing impairment itself and include reduced quality of life and well-being. Potential health impacts from hearing loss can include headaches, muscle tension, and increased stress and blood pressure levels. Hearing loss can manifest in many different ways. Depending on the degree or severity of the hearing loss, symptoms can range from occasional difficulty understanding words to inability to communicate with others and social isolation.
If hearing aids can help to improve the quality of so many people’s lives what could they be waiting for? Many people who have hearing loss don’t realize they actually are suffering. Allot of the time people believe that those around them mumble or speak too quietly rather than accepting that they have a problem. To treat hearing loss first a patient must make the decision to seek professional help. Learn the symptoms of hearing loss so you know when to seek help.
If you answered yes to any of these symptoms it is a very good idea to contact us at Glendora Hearing to schedule a hearing test. Hearing tests are quick and painless and can confirm that you do or do not have a hearing loss. Either way you have nothing to lose and so much to gain. The hearing aids of today are smaller, sleeker and more advanced then the hearing aids of older generations. Take advantage of Better Speech and Hearing Month and make May the month you finally deal with your hearing.