Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013

Celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month!

Balloons and ribbon for celebrating Better Hearing Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) is a public health campaign that has focused awareness on the problems and solutions of speech, language, and hearing since 1927. Difficulty with communication affects every aspect of a person's life-- relationships, work, and everyday chores. That’s why it's so important to have a month dedicated to making people aware of hearing loss, its symptoms, and solutions.

Communication is an essential human need. It allows for self-expression, interaction, friendship, and makes everyday tasks easier.

An estimated forty million people in the United States have some type of hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss is currently the number one way people lose their hearing, and it is on the rise with the increasing use of earbuds and MP3. Age induced hearing loss is the second most common form of hearing loss. 30-40% of people over 65 have some type of hearing loss. Despite the rise of hearing loss many people remain unaware of the important signs of hearing loss. That's why organizations like American Speech-Language-Hearing Association work hard in May to help create awareness.

Better Hearing and Speech Month Logo from ASHABetter Hearing and Speech Month Logo from ASHA American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is an advocate for Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). They work tirelessly to promote the month and offer free educational and promotional materials to the public. Targeting awareness is often difficult when it comes to hearing loss, because people aren't always aware that there is something wrong with their hearing. In fact, many people dismiss the most common symptoms of hearing loss.

Common Symptoms of Hearing Loss

  • Repeating: Asking to have things repeated often can be a sign of hearing loss. Don’t dismiss the possibility, because you only ask for repetition during certain situations—on the cell phone, when speaking to a female, child, or in a crowded place.
  • Volume: Turning up the volume on the television too high is a sign of hearing loss that people often dismiss, choosing instead to blame the program or the television.
  • Avoidance: Avoiding social situations because of an inability to hear in a crowd is another sign of hearing loss that people often dismiss as room acoustics. If you ind yourself making excuses to go out, you should have your hearing checked by a professional. Hearing loss is more pronounced in social situations where there is an increase in background noise.
  • Maintaining or improving hearing is one of the most important things people can do to stay healthy. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to impact self-esteem, brain function, emotional health, and has been linked to other physical ailments like vertigo, tinnitus, and falls. The good news is today's discoveries about hearing health, how hearing works, and the latest technological advances have allowed for some truly miraculous hearing loss solutions. Listening technologies can now be customized for performance and comfort.

    Equal Access
    In addition to making people aware of the importance of visiting a hearing health provider to have their ears checked, BHSM also helps to focus attention on the restrictions people with hearing loss might face when in a public venue, say an airport or movie theatre. Removing barriers that limit the potential of people with communications disorders is one of the goals of Better Hearing and Speech Month. Just as important as making people aware of the challenges faced by those with hearing loss is creating awareness around the need for equal access for the hearing impaired in public and transportation venues.

    Though many people have their cholesterol, heart, and eyes checked regularly, hearing is often neglected though it impacts every aspect of a person’s life. Taking care of hearing is one of the most important things a person can do to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Please help raise awareness this Better Hearing and Speech Month not only about the difficulties these conditions can pose for individuals, but about the dire need to have hearing checked.

    If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

    ©2011. American Hearing Aid Associates 225 Wilmington - West Chester Pike, Suite 300 Chadds Ford, PA 19317888.575.2511
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