May is here, and with that comes Better Hearing & Speech Month. Last year, we posted a blog about the origins of this month-long movement to raise awareness of hearing loss and speech problems. Now we are looking at how you can help spread the word and get the message out there.
How Can You Help?
Created by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 1927, Better Hearing & Speech Month has been teaching the public about hearing and speech disorders for more than 90 years.
If you are one of the nearly 48 million people in Green Valley and throughout the country with hearing loss, this is your time to help educate others. But before you can do that, it is important for you to understand how and why you developed hearing loss.
Then you can talk to your friends and family about hearing loss and work to promote hearing loss awareness.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Many other factors can contribute to hearing loss, which is divided into three separate categories: conductive hearing loss (associated with problems in the middle ear); sensorineural, or nerve-related, hearing loss (associated with problems in the inner ear); and mixed hearing loss.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Presbycusis and noise-induced hearing loss are types of sensorineural hearing loss. Additional causes include:
- Head trauma
- Viruses or disease
- Malformations of the inner ear
- Meniere’s disease
Conductive hearing loss
Conductive hearing loss can be caused by
- Ear infections
- Impacted earwax
- Foreign objects in the ear canal
- Perforated eardrum
- Poor Eustachian tube function
- Malformation of the outer ear or middle ear, including the ear canal
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both. Individuals with this type of hearing loss have damage to their outer or middle ear and their inner ear or auditory nerve.
Talk to Family and Friends
According to your Green Valley audiologist, about one in five Americans report some degree of hearing loss. Chances are, that means someone you know may be suffering in silence.
Talking to the people you love about their hearing loss and sharing your story can help motivate someone to take their first step. Offer to accompany them to their first appointment, maybe even bribe them with a free lunch at their favorite restaurant after they meet with their Green Valley audiologist. Whatever it takes to get their foot in the door.
Help Spread Awareness
With the rise in social media, it is easier than ever to inform others by simply sharing an article online. Want to go beyond that? There are a number of free resources online that you can download and print. Use this information to help educate others.
May is the month for promoting hearing loss awareness. To learn more about protecting your hearing, contact your Green Valley audiologist today.