Did you know that May is Better Hearing and Speech Month? Organized by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), this campaign focuses on raising awareness about hearing loss. The third most prevalent medical condition people live with today, hearing loss impacts over 48 million people. In addition to affecting hearing, hearing loss results in multifaceted effects that can disrupt daily living. The theme for this year’s campaign is Connecting People which is invested in highlighting the hearing healthcare services that can support your hearing health. Treatment offers countless major benefits not only transforms hearing but overall health and wellness.
Recognizing Symptoms Early
It is estimated that it takes an average of 7 years for people to seek treatment for hearing loss from the time they start experiencing symptoms. Symptoms can be easily overlooked in the beginning because they typically develop slowly. It is common for early signs to remain unnoticed for quite some time, contributing to a delay in treatment. Recognizing hearing loss symptoms is important, allowing people to understand their hearing health is changing. Common symptoms include the following:
- Tinnitus: a buzzing, whooshing, or clicking like noise hearing in one or both ears.
- Sounds are distorted or muffled.
- Frequently asking others to speak louder or slower.
- Increasing the volume on electronic devices like the TV or your phone.
- Saying “huh” or “what” in response to others, asking them to repeat themselves.
- Missing parts of a conversation, struggling to keep up.
- Lip reading to help identify individual words.
- Feeling left out of conversations.
- Needing to move to a quieter space to be able to hear better.
- Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
These symptoms can range from mild to more profound – depending on the degree of hearing loss one is experiencing. Symptoms can take a toll on daily life in a myriad of ways including straining communication, relationships, work-life, and social engagement. You may find yourself withdrawing socially, keeping conversations as short as possible, and having a tough time managing professional responsibilities. Treating hearing loss alleviates these symptoms and improves your health in significant ways.
Treating Hearing Loss
Fortunately, there is a vast amount of resources and hearing healthcare services that are out there for you to access. Treating hearing loss starts by having your hearing thoroughly evaluated. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures your hearing capacity in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss as well as the degree of impairment which establishes your hearing needs. Your hearing healthcare provider uses this information to tailor treatment to meet the specifics of your hearing needs
The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids. These are electronic devices that are designed to detect and process sound, providing the ears and brain with ample support. Similar to most electronic devices today, hearing aids have experienced significant innovation. There is a wide range of options that vary in style, features, colors, and technologies. Hearing aids today are more advanced than ever before. Features are designed to enhance connectivity, deliver the best sound quality, and support hearing in various listening environments. Your hearing healthcare provider will also help you navigate your options. They often work with leading hearing aid brands and the latest models they produce. This expertise is used to recommend devices that will be best for your hearing and lifestyle needs.
In addition to diagnosing and treating hearing loss, there are several other hearing healthcare services that you can benefit from. This includes access to other hearing technologies, hearing aid maintenance, and tinnitus management. These services provide ongoing and comprehensive support for your hearing health.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health this May
Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time to commit to your hearing health. You can make this a priority with one simple step: call us to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. This appointment involves getting to know you, learning about your hearing health, and running diagnostics to identify your hearing needs. Once we establish your hearing health profile, we can move forward with tailored treatment to transform your hearing health. Call us today to get started.