This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month! Organized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), this initiative is all about raising awareness about communication disorders and transformative solutions. An annual campaign, this year’s theme is building connections which highlights the importance of accessing resources and prioritizing your hearing health.
Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic medical conditions that people navigate today. Impacting nearly 1 in 5 people, hearing loss reduces a person’s capacity to hear and absorb sound which has profound effects including strained communication, relationships and health. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat hearing loss that maximize hearing and improve overall health and wellness.
New Study on Hearing Loss Inaction
Hearing loss affects an estimated 48 million people, making it a pervasive health issue. Though it is common, it is often underdiagnosed. A new study, published this month by ASHA, highlights widespread inaction on hearing loss. The study consisted of a nationally representative sample of nearly 2,500 adults (ages 18 and older) who responded to questions regarding their hearing health. Key findings include:
- 2 in 10 adults have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with about 6 in 10 who have had their vision tested.
- 51% of all adults reported having hearing problems, but only 11% of those respondents have sought treatment.
- 78% of those with hearing problems have had these difficulties for 1 or more years—and 35% have had trouble for 5 or more years.
These findings reveal the scope of unaddressed hearing loss concerns and general lack of tending to hearing health. Participants also reported that though they understand that mild hearing loss can impact daily life, they would be unlikely to treat it unless it was severe. This delay of treatment often worsens hearing impairment and can also contribute to the development of additional health issues including cognitive decline, depression, and accidental injuries. Seeking treatment, and early intervention specifically, is incredibly important. Treatment not only strengthens hearing capacity, but also improves communication, relationships, social life, and mental health. There is a range of hearing health services that address and meet your needs so that you can live a quality and vibrant life.
Connecting to Services
Building connections involves connecting with the resources and services that can transform your hearing health. We provide a range of services that focus on identifying and effectively treating your hearing needs. This includes:
- Hearing Test: the first step of treating hearing loss is taking a hearing test. This involves a noninvasive and painless process that measures hearing capacity in both ears. Hearing tests identify any impairment, the degree, and the specific type of hearing loss you could be experiencing. During the test, you will be wearing headphones while being guided through sounds played at different pitches by our hearing healthcare specialist. You will indicate what you can hear and this information will be tracked on an audiogram which visually represents your hearing ability in both ears. We will thoroughly review these results and discuss next steps.
- Hearing Aid Fitting: the most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids which are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound. After assessing your hearing needs, we are able to make informed recommendations about the device that would work best for you. Your follow-up appointment will be a fitting during which we program your device so that the settings meet your specific needs, ensure that it fits comfortably, and teach you how to use and care for it.
- Hearing Aid Repairs: another useful service we provide is hearing aid repairs. Hearing aids are durable devices that are long lasting but can also be impacted by daily wear and tear. We are able to perform repairs so that your device is working smoothly.
- Tinnitus Treatment: one of the most common symptoms of hearing loss, tinnitus describes a buzzing or ringing like noise in one or both ears. It can be profound enough to disrupt daily life and take a toll on sleep. By providing individualized care, we can support you with ways to alleviate and manage tinnitus.
Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time to prioritize your hearing health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing test!