What You Can Do About Hearing Loss
Group Uses May's Better Hearing and Speech Month To Get The Word Out About Easing The Effects of Communication Disorders
(Add Your City, State - Date) It is estimated that more than 28 million Americans have hearing loss. If you think you or a loved is among them, there is help. This May, and every May since 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has used the May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) celebration as a time to encourage Americans to get their hearing tested and determine if they have a hearing loss.
You or a loved one may have a hearing loss if you:
- Frequently ask people to repeat themselves
- Often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better
- Understand people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces
- Lose your place in group conversations
- Keep the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud
- Have pain or ringing in your ears
- Notice that some sounds remain clear (often low-pitched sounds such as the bass line in music) while others may seem fuzzy (frequently women's and children's high-pitched voices).
"People who see themselves in these statements should see an ASHA-certified audiologist for a hearing test," according to (add your information here). "Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life. Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life."
As a first step, people who think they may have hearing loss or other hearing disorders should see a certified audiologist. These professionals specialize in preventing, identifying, assessing, and treating hearing disorders. Also, they provide treatment for hearing loss including properly-fitting hearing aids and other assistive listening devices, and they can teach people with hearing loss how to concentrate on hearing all sounds.
Hearing loss often occurs slowly and has many causes, such as exposure to noise or hearing loss associated with aging. Because this type of hearing loss is entirely preventable, ASHA strongly advises that people use noise-canceling headphones or ear plugs when they are in noisy environments or activities.
ASHA recommends that children at risk for hearing loss, such as chronic ear infections or family history of hearing loss, be screened as frequently as needed to ensure they are hearing well. Otherwise, for children ages 5-18, hearing screenings should occur on initial entry into school and annually in kindergarten through 3rd grade as well as in the 7th and 11th grades. Also, an annual hearing checkup is a good idea for people from age 45 and older.
Consumers who think they may have a hearing disorder or know of a loved one who has a communication disorder should access ProSearch, ASHA's online directory of audiology programs, to find an ASHA-certified audiologist in their area http://www.asha.org/findpro/ (or add your own website or phone number).
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About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 166,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders. www.asha.org/.