May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, an annual occasion designed to raise awareness of hearing loss and speech problems.
Started in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), President Reagan issued a formal proclamation in 1986 designating May as the official month to heighten public awareness around hearing loss and speech disorders.
Better Hearing & Speech Month encourages people to act if they believe there might be a problem with their hearing or speech.
Many in the hearing health care industry use this opportunity to educate people in May. They’ve got a large potential audience: an estimated 48 million Americans and counting who experience hearing loss.
It is also the perfect time to educate people on the prevalence of hearing loss. One out of three adults 65 and older experiences some degree of hearing loss; by age 75 that number jumps to one in two. However, hearing loss doesn’t just affect older people.
Children and young adults are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, especially given the popularity of personal music devices; persistent exposure to excessively loud music is on the rise thanks to earbuds, headphones and the tendency to crank up the volume. Other factors that contribute to hearing loss include ear infections, impacted earwax and ototoxic medications.
Fortunately, hearing exams are still the best way to detect hearing loss early. They enable an audiologist to identify problems before they worsen and recommend treatment to those who might otherwise suffer debilitating social and emotional effects including depression, isolation, memory loss and cognitive impairment.
If you notice problems with your hearing or suspect a loved one may suffer from hearing loss, heed the message of Better Hearing & Speech Month. Contact ENT Associates of Alabama today for a hearing exam.
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