By Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D.
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The aim of BHSM is to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, while at the same encouraging people to analyze their own hearing and speech, and to seek treatment if they think they have a problem hearing. Treatment can then be given to improve the quality of life in people with communication problems. The theme this year is “Early Intervention Counts.”
Signs of Hearing Loss Include:
• Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
• Turning an ear in the direction of sound in order to hear it better.
• Understanding conversation better when you look directly at the person who is speaking. Facial expression and lips movements can assist someone to better understand speech.
• Being unable to hear all parts of a group
• Experiencing pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
• Listening to the TV or radio at volume levels higher than other people normally listen to.
If any of these signs are present, you should visit an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist is a health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating people with hearing problems.
Most cases of hearing loss are treatable. Audiologists can teach their patients to concentrate on listening to certain sounds. Hearing loss can often be overcome using either hearing aids or other assistive listening devices.
Most people wait five to seven years to treat their hearing loss. Here are some reasons why people should seek earlier treatment for their hearing loss.
Early intervention slows cognitive decline and communication problems. When you can’t hear what’s going on around you, your mental sharpness and communication abilities suffer.
Early intervention improves the use of hearing aids themselves. The earlier people begin to use hearing aids, the more comfortable they are with them, and the easier it is to learn to use them to their greatest advantage. If your world has been missing sound, it can take longer to adapt to once again hearing environmental sounds like fans, airplanes and footsteps.
With so many high-quality hearing aids on the market today, there’s simply no reason to miss out on the sounds in your life. While many people are tempted to just ignore minor hearing loss, that’s not the best option. Why would you ever want to deny yourself the benefits of hearing by delaying the treatment of your hearing loss? DON’T WAIT TO GET HELP WITH YOUR HEARING LOSS!!
Dr. Noël Crosby, Au.D., owner and audiologist at Advanced Hearing Solutions in Englewood, FL is a licensed professional whose 26 year career has been devoted to helping people of all ages hear and hear and understand more clearly. Dr. Crosby received her BS and MS degrees from FSU and her Doctorate in Audiology from UF. Her credibility as an authority grew during her tenure as the Director of Audiology at the Silverstein Institute in Sarasota, FL from 1991-1998. Today, in addition to managing a successful audiology practice, Dr. Crosby is involved in creating hearing loss awareness through her jewelry and accessory company AuDBling.com. She has served and is serving on various professional boards and committees and was president of the Florida Academy of Audiology in 2000 and 2010. She has been married to Michael for 23 years and has one daughter.