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This May The American Speech and Hearing Association is celebrating it’s fiftieth annual Better Hearing and Speech Month. The American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) is dedicated to raising awareness of how many Americans live with disabling hearing loss, the potential consequences of doing so, and the many preventions and remedies available. Now more than ever before there is no excuse for people to suffer unnecessarily and the annual Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) encourages people to be proactive in recognizing the symptoms in themselves and their loved ones and taking appropriate action. This year’s theme is “Connecting People.”
This Year’s Theme is Connecting People
Connecting People is at the core of ASHA’s mission. Hearing loss is more common than many people may assume and it affects people of all ages. It may be the result of a birth defect, in which case it is likely caught early. It may be the painful result of a sudden loud sound damaging one’s eardrums, in which case it is obvious. But more likely than not it is the consequence of bad habits over a number of years.
Regular proximity to loud sounds often gets normalized, whether it is a professional requirement or a social preference. Jobs such as construction, factory workers, ambulance drivers, or airport personnel all involve repeated proximity to damaging volumes. Common entertainment pastimes can be just as dangerous. Most people understand that loud concerts pose a potential threat, but few consider how the screams of a loud crowd at a sporting event or even the constant roar of a bustling nightclub can be just as many risks. and We do not develop tolerances to these damaging volumes. Instead, we increase and compound the risks each time we engage in these activities.
In this way, BHSM’s theme of “Connecting people” may seem ironic. These activities that pose a risk are bringing people together, dancing, shouting, and laughing. But on a deeper and more immediate level, of course, our connections to others depending on the acuity of our senses, especially hearing. It’s clear that our contentment and quality of life closely align with our abilities to feel connected to others.
The Potential Consequences of Hearing Loss
When disabling hearing loss is left untreated in children, they risk withdrawing from others. Feeling cut off, they pull away. and This puts the normal stages of development at risk. and Though of course, everyone is unique and no timeline is completely necessary, some developments in children need to stay on schedule or they risk a lifetime of compounding consequences, falling behind in class creating trouble with education overall, eventually leading to decreased career opportunities.
Seniors who may sometimes be too proud to admit any decreasing physical abilities, risk feeling isolated. Isolation often leads to loneliness and depression. and Studies show that depression creates many cognitive defects, including disorientation and psychological decay. But all of this is preventable.
How would you recognize hearing loss? Young and Old, Family and Strangers
Hearing loss is quite often simpler to recognize in others than in yourself. Same as you cannot notice how your hair grows one day to the next, at home within your senses, you are likely to not notice if any one of them dims a little at a time. It is only natural that we come to trust our senses as standards of clarity as they are quite literally how we experience the world. So it is part of our responsibility to our loved ones to mention when we notice the symptoms, even if doing so may feel awkward to bring up at first.
In children, you might first recognize the stunting of their development. The signs of hearing loss might appear to be emotional or psychological when in fact those are the consequences of the problem and not the problem itself.
In adults, we are more likely to recognize earlier manifestations of the symptoms. And they are so obvious once your attention is drawn to them. You can probably guess. Do you find that you often need to repeat yourself? Are you surprised by the volume that someone you love watches television or listens to the radio? You know what that is. and If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to take action, let BHSM encourage you to do so now.
Make an appointment with one of our specialists today. Come in on your own and bring someone you love and that is a step toward normalizing the upkeep of hearing health. Our specialists can provide you with the support and treatments that work just right for your condition and your budget.