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Do you recognize the signs of hearing loss? Nearly 40 million Americans struggle to hear, so there’s at least one person in your family who can’t hear clearly and is struggling to communicate. Maybe it’s you. Noticing the signs that your hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was is the first step to getting your hearing back, and this May we encourage you to learn more of the signs of hearing loss and take action.
American Speech Language Hearing Association
For over 90 years, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) have raised awareness around communication disorders by naming May as Better Speech and Hearing Month. The ASHA, made of up over 200,000 members who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, and audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, work tirelessly to provide life altering treatment for all Americans. This year, the theme of Better Speech and Hearing Month is “Communication Across the Lifespan” and you can find more information about it at http://www.asha.org/bhsm/. The ASHA is encouraging Americans to learn more about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss in Children
You might think that hearing loss only affects seniors, but rates of hearing loss among children and teens are on the rise. If you want to protect your family’s hearing, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in your children. Did you know that by the age of 6, roughly 5% of children have speech disorders? A communication or speech disorder will hold your child back, stop them from learning, and cause them to fall behind their peers, and 1 in 4 parents have some concerns about their child’s ability to communicate. Most toddlers speak their first word around their first birthday, but language development begins long before that, as they listen to all the sounds around them, learn to identify speech sounds, and slowly begin to discover the meaning of words.
When hearing is affected, children are unable to learn easily, and they won’t have the best opportunities in life. Children who have difficulty hearing and speaking also struggle to learn to read and write, and this will hold them back in every area of life. If you’ve noticed that your child doesn’t seem to be paying attention to you, doesn’t respond when called, or isn’t doing the same things as other children their age, it’s a sign that they could have a hearing loss, and need immediate treatment to prevent a communication disorder.
Hearing Loss in Teens
Hearing loss in teens is becoming more and more common as our young people are being exposed to a barrage of loud sounds each and every day at school, during band practice, on the football field, and even at home. They also spend a lot of the day with earbuds jammed in their ears, blasting loud music right at the delicate cells of the inner ear and causing a lot of damage.
Signs of hearing loss in teens include difficulty focusing on tasks, asking people to repeat themselves, or increased moodiness. They’ll often be more withdrawn from peers and from family, since they’re not able to hear and communicate effectively, and they might be receiving bad marks in school.
Hearing Loss in Adults
Hearing loss in adults is a very isolating experience. Losing the ability to communicate as an adult can be disorienting and frustrating, leading to a breakdown in communication, relationship problems, and difficulty at work. Signs of hearing loss in adults include struggling to hear on the phone, and turning up the volume on the TV too loud. Adults with hearing loss often choose to stay home from social gatherings, and living with hearing loss leads to an overwhelming feeling of fatigue since the whole day is spent straining to hear.
Hearing Services of Antioch
If you or anyone in your family is struggling to hear, join us in celebrating Better Speech and Hearing month, and call Hearing Services of Antioch to schedule an appointment to get your hearing tested. Together we’ll discover your unique hearing profile, find out which sounds you can and can’t hear, and recommend the best hearing devices that will help you hear in the situations where you struggle the most.