Better Hearing and Speech Month
Hearing is one of our primary senses and is a crucial part of everyday life. We wake to the chirping of birds or to a blaring alarm clock. We react to the high pitch sound of a siren or the cry of a child. We perceive subtle nuances in conversations that allow us to better connect with the world around us. Our hearing allows us to gather, process, and interpret sounds continuously, without conscious effort.
However, this seemingly simple action is really a very complex and intricate process. When it comes to our ears, identifying problems early can make a big difference. About 48 million adults report some degree of hearing loss. By the age of 65, 1 in 3 people suffer from hearing loss. In fact, hearing loss is the 3rd most common medical condition, after arthritis and heart disease.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery reports that every day in the United States, approximately 1 in 1,000 newborns (or 33 newborns every day) is born profoundly deaf. Another 3 out of 1,000 babies are born with some degree of hearing loss. These statistics make hearing loss the number one birth defect in America. Many studies have shown that early diagnosis of hearing loss is crucial to the development of speech, language, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities.
Hearing loss at any age, young or old, should not be ignored. May is “Better Hearing and Speech Month” and is a time to raise awareness about communication disorders and available treatment options. Often these treatment options can greatly improve the quality of life for patients who experience problems speaking, understanding, or hearing. Hearing, language, and speech screenings are being offered throughout the community during the month of May.
There are many different treatment options for those experiencing hearing loss, as well as those who have a speech or language concern. If you or a loved one are experiencing any loss of hearing, whether on a regular or intermittent basis, schedule an appointment with your Primary Care physician or an Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat physician) for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you experience a sudden loss of hearing, seek medical attention immediately.
I provide advanced treatment protocols, state-of-the-art diagnostic technology, and comprehensive and compassionate care for patients of all ages. Our clinic has a full-time audiologist, Dr. Makenzi Gwinn, who specializes in caring for hearing and balance disorders. We are happy to assist you in the diagnosis and treatment of these complex disorders.