Building Community Awareness
Hearing loss is one of the most common, chronic conditions that Americans experience, yet many people wait years or even decades to take any action on their hearing loss—if they ever do. This is true even as we have so many intervention and treatment options that help people to communicate more effectively. While May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, we want our patients to help inform their friends and family about the importance of having a hearing test and seeking treatment.
This awareness is also important for our medical community and that is why Hearing Partners has made it their mission this month to focus on educating the medical community by inviting physicians and their staff to come in and see our facility, meet our team and get a baseline hearing test.
Hearing Loss Can Happen at Any Age
Although many people know that you can be born deaf or hard of hearing and that hearing loss is relatively common in older adults, it’s important to note that hearing loss can occur at any point in a lifespan. Approximately, 15% of school-aged children ages 6–19 have hearing loss, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the U.S. workplace, about 22 million workers (17%) are exposed to dangerous noise each year, putting their hearing at risk.
Hearing loss may be due to exposure to excessive noise (e.g., from noisy occupations or leisure activities), ear infections, and even certain medications or medical treatments. Yet, many people ignore their hearing health. According to a 2021 national poll from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and YouGov, only 2 in 10 adults (20%) have had a hearing test in the past 5 years, compared with roughly 6 in 10 (61%) who have had their vision tested.
Most people underestimate their degree of hearing loss and the impact it has on their lives. We know that mild hearing loss that goes undetected can put a child one or more grade levels behind in school. For adults, untreated hearing loss is increasingly connected to cognitive decline and earlier onset of dementia. The benefits of treatment are clear and convincing.
It is critical for all people to take measures to protect their hearing such as limiting their time in noisy spaces and wearing hearing protection at loud events. These signs aren’t always obvious and may include having difficulty following conversations, having trouble hearing on the phone, perceiving that people frequently sound like they’re mumbling, or having difficulty understanding what children are saying due to their high pitch voices.
Spread the word
This year, help us spread the importance of hearing health by telling at least one person you know how your life has been improved by seeking treatment for your hearing loss. Together we can help educate our community and help improve the quality of life of others.
Hearing Partners of South Florida
Delray – 561-638-6530
Boynton – 561-736-6002
Jupiter – 561-888-7260