May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month
With approximately 15% of American adults reporting difficulty hearing, ENT and Allergy Specialists’ Director of Audiology, Talin Marino, Au.D., CCC-A, is encouraging people to learn the signs of hearing loss—and to seek care. This is a timely message, as May is recognized nationally as Better Hearing and Speech Month.
“Hearing is important for so many aspects of our lives, but it’s something that many people don’t prioritize until they are having significant difficulty,” said Marino “Even then, people often wait years to receive treatment, if ever. This is despite the fact that audiologists can help people in many different ways.”
Marino continued: “Hearing loss is much more than a minor inconvenience. Left unaddressed, it can affect us in a variety of ways, from increased risk for physical danger, such as falling; to mental health problems, including social isolation and depression; to cognitive decline, including earlier onset of dementia. Effects of untreated hearing loss extend into our personal relationships, career success, and healthcare costs, as well.”
Signs of hearing loss in adults include the following:
- Difficulty following conversations
- Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
- Hearing ringing, roaring, or beeping in one or both ears
- Failure to respond to spoken words
- Hearing something other than what was said
- Muffled hearing
- Sensitivity to loud sounds
- Fatigue and irritation when trying to follow a conversation or hear TV
- Avoidance of conversation
As a first step, Marino urges anyone concerned about their hearing (or that of a loved one) to seek a hearing evaluation from a certified audiologist. Private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare generally cover evaluations. People should take this step even if they think they can’t afford hearing aids or other hearing services. Audiologists can advise people on ways to make hearing aids more affordable, and various organizations offer financial assistance.
Aside from hearing aids, audiologists can identify other ways to improve a person’s listening and communication skills. They can also help families support loved ones with hearing loss.
ENT and Allergy Specialists is committed to providing the highest quality medical and surgical treatment for patients with ear, nose, and throat conditions including allergies, snoring/sleep apnea, sinusitis/balloon sinuplasty, eustachian tube balloon-plasty, and tinnitus.