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Happy May and happy Better Hearing and Speech Month. Professional Hearing Services are audiology specialists – of course we are going to wish you a happy Better Hearing and Speech Month! Each year The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association picks a new theme for their May Hearing and Speech Month. This year’s theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” No matter what your age or where you are in your journey to better hearing health, we’re here for you. Early intervention and treatment of hearing loss is important for all ages. Give us a call and schedule an evaluation. Let’s review some hearing loss information.
Hearing Loss in America
For each 1,000 children born, two of three have detectable hearing loss in one or both ears and almost 15% of children between 6 and 19 years old have hearing loss in one or both ears. About 37.5 million adults in America, or about 15% of the adult population reported during a national health survey that they have hearing difficulties. In this day and age, most newborns undergo hearing screening, Unfortunately, even those infants found to have hearing issues don’t often get the proper follow-up and care.
It may be vanity or it may be the idea that hearing loss is a natural part of aging, but many adults fail to get the proper follow-up care if they have hearing loss. Just one in seven, that’s 14%, of adults over the age of 50 with hearing loss, get and use a hearing aid. Seems odd, doesn’t it, we are quick to get our vision corrected, but still far too slow to get our hearing loss treated.
Be Aware of the Signs
In children some signs of hearing loss include: lack of attention to noise, no response when if name is called, can’t follow simple verbal instructions, delays in speech and language development, pulls, or scratches at ears, lags behind peers in terms of academic development and has poor social interaction skills.
In adults the signs of hearing loss include: buzzing or ringing in the ears, failure to respond to spoken words, muffled hearing, failure to follow a conversation or respond appropriately to queries, social isolation and depression.
Hearing Loss Impacts
Untreated hearing loss for children can impact them for their lifetime. Hearing is essential for them to develop good communication skills and language awareness. Untreated hearing issues puts them in “catch-up” mode. It will take them longer to match the level their peers are at in the areas of academic, personal and social development. It has a potential cascading affect on mental and physical health into adulthood as well as career choices and opportunities for advancement.
Untreated hearing loss in adults can lead to hypertension, sleeping disorders, diabetes, propensity for falls, depression and early on-set dementia. It can cause relationship difficulties and one study done in England found that often times those difficulties can lead to divorce. A well-publicized blog by an American writer gives some insight into the effects of her husband’s untreated hearing loss on their relationship. She wrote it was difficult to communicate and their “conversations” consisted of a shouted series of nouns like “dinner?” “television?” “bedtime?” He struggled at restaurants, she wrote, because of the background noise and one of their favorite activities, trying new dining spots, ended. They went to parties separately because it was exhausting for him to try and keep up during a conversation, so he would just leave early.
There Is Good News
A large survey done by the National Council on Again indicates adults who use hearing aids have significant improvements in many areas of their lives including relationships at home and work, mental health, sense of safety, social life and overall quality of life.
Don’t Put That Hearing Test off
At Professional Hearing Services, we stay on top of technological advancements in the audiology field. We can help you find and use the correct model of hearing devices that fit with your lifestyle and expectations. We are proud to serve the greater Denver area and to offer on-site audiology services at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice and rehabilitation centers as well as retirement communities. If you can’t come to us – we’ll come to you for that all-important hearing evaluation.