May is Better Hearing & Speech Month
Every May, audiologist in Georgetown and across the country celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month. Originally created in 1927 by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), President Reagan formally designated May as the official month to heighten public awareness about hearing loss and speech disorders in in 1986. The goal of Better Hearing & Speech Month is to encourage people to take action if they believe there might be a problem with their hearing or speech.
Because of this month-long celebration, it is 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 the age of 75 that number jumps to one out of two. But hearing loss is not a condition that only affects the older population. Children and young adults are at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, especially as the popularity of iPods and personal music devices increases. Ear infections, impacted earwax and ototoxic medications also contribute to the prevalence of hearing loss.
Best Way to Detect Hearing Loss
The best way to detect hearing loss early is to have yearly hearing exams. These exams enable an audiologist to identify problems before they worsen and recommend treatment to those who might otherwise suffer debilitating social and emotional effects of hearing loss including depression, isolation, memory loss and cognitive impairment. Hearing exams are just as important for children as they are for older adults. Hearing is the cornerstone of a child’s language and social skills; impairment can result in developmental delays. Early detection can ensure a child develops at a normal rate alongside his or her peers.
If you think you may be starting to experience hearing loss or suspect it is time for a loved one to be evaluated, follow the message of Better Hearing & Speech Month and contact your Georgetown audiologist.