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Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) brings awareness to hearing loss and the signs and symptoms associated. The American Speech and Hearing Association takes this month to raise awareness for individuals experiencing hearing loss. This year’s theme is titled “Building Connections,” which is meant to highlight how important social interaction is for our cognitive, physical, and emotional health.
How Common is Hearing Loss?
Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. What may be more surprising is that over half of that population are under the age of 65. According to the American Academy of Audiology, hearing loss is the third most common health problem in the US.
This is a big deal that we all need to consider for preventative reasons and treatment of existing loss. Many of those with hearing loss could have easily prevented their loss but were simply unaware or unconcerned with protecting their natural hearing. Noise-induced hearing loss is a significant cause of hearing loss in the US. Simply being aware of your surroundings and wearing hearing protection or even just turning down the volume can save you and your ears from a lot of difficulty down the road.
Signs of Hearing Loss
If you have hearing loss, you’ll find it challenging to interact in a noisy environment. This can range from a small family get-together to a packed restaurant. You might find others are “mumbling” too much. This is a prominent symptom of hearing loss.
You may need to ask your friends or family to repeat themselves, or you may find yourself often asking, “huh?” Some other signs or symptoms of hearing loss include trouble following a conversation, avoiding social events because you know you won’t be able to hear in a crowd, ringing or humming in your ears, and difficulty interpreting what people say when they aren’t facing you.
All of these scenarios are common for people who have hearing loss. It’s crucial to be frank with yourself about these symptoms so you can get started on the road to better hearing! If you agree with either of the above scenarios, make an appointment with us this month for a hearing test.
Benefits of Visiting an Audiologist
From audiologists to hearing instrument specialists to big box stores, you have several choices when it comes to who fits your hearing aids. As audiologists ourselves, we recommend visiting our practice – and here’s why!.
- A higher level of knowledge is required. Audiologists are trained to assess, diagnose, treat, and control hearing loss, balance, and tinnitus in people of all ages. They are health professionals who are knowledgeable about the science of hearing loss and other audiological conditions and the effect hearing loss has on a patient’s life, brain, and physical health.
- A higher level of training is required. Audiologists research their specialty for six to eight years, including a four-year undergraduate degree and a four-year doctorate. Students learn about hearing loss and balance problems, anatomy and physiology, communication growth, genetics, ethics, and physics throughout their education.
- Clinical experience is required. In addition, the doctoral program emphasizes how to counsel patients with hearing loss. Doctor of Audiology students spend their final year of training working full-time in Audiology in several clinical environments.
We also recommend going to a dedicated hearing practice rather than a big box store for your hearing aids. You’ll receive more personalized care during your hearing treatment period, as well as ongoing help in the critical first few months. A dedicated audiologist will provide you with guidance and instruction to ensure you find the right hearing aid for your lifestyle. This personal attention is maintained throughout the life of the aids, including repair and maintenance.
Take Action this Better Hearing and Speech Month
Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time to ‘press go’ on your hearing health treatment. Contact Hearing Consultants, Inc. today to set up a complete audiological evaluation.