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Hearing Blog

May is better hearing and speech month

April 9, 2021

Better Hearing and Speech Month or BHSM was started many years ago to raise awareness about hearing and speech difficulties.  The goal is to educate people of signs, symptoms and solutions that are available to improve communication abilities.  Throughout the month many organizations provide free hearing evaluations, video otoscopy, and consultations to the community.    

The first step.. everyone should evaluate your communication ability.  If you have children evaluate theirs also.  The earlier the prevention and correction, the better.  Signs of hearing loss include:

* Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
* Turning one ear to hear better
* Not pronouncing letters properly.  Like "R" & "W".  We pronounce what we hear.  Often children will pronounce letters wrong.  Adults with profound losses may develop a speech impediment.
* Pain or ringing in the ear.
* Difficulty understanding if more than one person is talking.  
* Speaking loudly.
* Turning the TV or radio up louder than others like it.
* Not wanting to go to the clubhouse because its "too noisy"
* Noticing that you understand much better if you can see someone's face.
* You have trouble hearing on the telephone.
* It is harder to understand women and children.  
* You feel like people just speak "too fast"
* People sound muffled or they "mumble". 
* Friends and family tell you that you are not hearing well.
* You are tired from straining to try to understand conversations.

If you find you have one or maybe several of these symptoms then it is time to get a hearing evaluation.   Your hearing is directly related to your health.   Hearing loss is linked to depression.  It has been associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages.  With depression comes the risk of dementia.  A study at John Hopkins found that hearing loss actually speeds up brain function decline.  The use of hearing aids can have the potential to delay or prevent dementia.  Studies are on-going.   Hearing loss is more common with people with diabetes.   In fact, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a hearing loss.  Hearing loss and cardiovascular health are tied together.  The blood flow in the inner ear is so sensitive that abnormalities could be noted here earlier that in other parts of the body.   People with hearing loss may have a greater risk of falling.  Intense research in comorbidities with relation to hearing loss has led to the development of “Healthable ™  hearing instruments”.  These instruments have the capability to send an alert if you fall.  This is done with Bluetooth technology.  Studies for ages 40 to 69 show a history of falling with even just a mild hearing loss.  Kidney disease is linked to hearing loss (The Hearing Review).  Moderate chronic kidney disease is associated with increased risk of hearing loss.   The risk of dying may be higher for older men with hearing loss.  Men were found to have an increased risk of mortality but hearing aids helped to reduce the risk.  (Johns Hopkins).

Fitness may improve your hearing.   Higher levels of physical activities help increase your blood flow thus providing better stimulus in the inner ear.    Your hearing is one of you most precious assets.  Our new hearing instruments;  by Starkey Hearing Technologies can not only send a message for help if you fall... it can also track your activity level, much like a fitness tracker.  Another cool function is a feature that calculates and gives data as to the amount of cognitive stimulus that your brain is getting.  To be healthy you need exercise for both the brain and the body.  Its important to protect it and nurture it.  Everyone should have at a minimum baseline hearing check, inspection of the ear by a trained hearing professional, and consultation of the results.  MAY is the perfect month to do so!  Let us help, give us a call (863) 385-3497. To Hear Better Is Live Better!


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