Do you know anyone who suffers from hearing impairment? Many of us know at least someone who requires the aid of a device to hear properly. Whether due to a specific illness, the result of an accident, or just as a part of getting older, hearing and communication disorders can be treated. Early detection goes a long way in speeding up recovery and improving the overall prognosis.
May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has made their “Identifying the Signs Campaign” the focal point of awareness for this year. By more readily recognizing the warning signs associated with hearing loss and speech impairment, we can all do our part to help those we care about start to communicate better and living happier lives.
Unfortunately, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), only about 20% of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Although technology has significantly enhanced the effectiveness of electronic hearing aids since being introduced to the market in the early 1950s, research continues to improve their capabilities.
Initially making these devices smaller and more sophisticated, over the past 20 years, NIH has joined forces with the VA and NASA to continue improving hearing aid wearers’ ability to identify where sounds are coming from within a noisy environment. Still, breaking through the stigma and cost associated with getting treatment remains an obstacle that these organizations continue to battle. Improving accessibility, affordability and education regarding the benefits of wearing a hearing aid remains the focus of NIH, ASHA and Better Hearing & Speech Month.
Take this time to consider your own personal hearing ability and that of those you love. If you have any doubts, get tested immediately so that effective treatment can begin working right away.
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