The start of May marks the beginning of Better Speech and Hearing Month, an annual awareness event stewarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (also known as ASHA). All month long this May, ASHA is promoting hearing and speech wellness under the theme “Communication For All”. At Hearing Spa of Florida, we know the value of empowering communication through hearing healthcare. Everyday we help people reconnect with their ability to hear through hearing aids and assistive devices. In the name of Communication For All, here are some ways to cultivate better hearing and lifelong hearing wellness.
Schedule An Annual Exam
The best and most thorough way to make your hearing a priority is by establishing a history of your hearing health through annual hearing exams. Having a regular exam done establishes a baseline history for your hearing and can help your hearing specialist monitor any potential issues. A regular exam can also detect the early signs of hearing loss and help treat hearing loss before it worsens.
Recognize The Signs Of Hearing Loss
Some of the signs of hearing loss are easy to spot while others can be far subtler. Understanding indicators that can signal hearing trouble helps you stay on top of your hearing and know when it is time to talk to your hearing specialist about potential issues.
Hearing loss first may register if you find you often have to ask others to repeat themselves or speak louder. Similarly, you may notice that you are consistently turning up the volume on televisions, stereos, radios and telephones to the maximum (or near maximum) volume.
Recognizing the experience of hearing loss may be trickier. People with hearing loss often can tell when someone is speaking but the words sound muffled or mumbled rather than clear. This can be especially true of voices with very high or very low register.
Hearing loss can also subtly change the way we behave. People with hearing loss often find themselves avoiding complicated noisy sound environments that can be frustrating to navigate – even places they once enjoyed. Sports games, concerts, parties and dining out may quickly move from your favorite activities to avoided situations because of hearing loss.
Don’t Ignore Hearing Changes
If you notice a change in the way you hear, it’s time to take note and schedule a hearing checkup. Noticeable changes in your hearing could be the sign of something temporary – or of permanent damage. In either case, staying in control of your hearing health is a matter of talking about new changes in your hearing with your hearing specialist. Ignoring hearing changes won’t make them go away and makes you more complacent in allowing them to persist without seeking treatment. Hearing loss isn’t something you have to “tough out”. Rather, it responds best to early treatment and early treatment preserves as much of your natural hearing as possible.
Treat Hearing Loss Sooner, Not Later
When you start treating hearing loss can make a world of difference in the ease and effectiveness of using hearing aids. On average, people wait seven years from the time they first notice an issue with their hearing until the time they seek help for their concern. This is rooted in the myth that you don’t have to deal with hearing loss until it is “really bad”. The reality is waiting until your hearing is “really bad” makes it much worse than it would be if you sought hearing treatment earlier.
When our hearing changes it represents not just a change in what sounds our ears can detect, it also represents significant changes in how our mind interprets and understands sounds. Because it has to process incomplete and partial sound fragments, the brain works extra hard and establishes new connections to fill in the gaps. These new patterns become entirely new mental pathways for hearing, while your original auditory pathway is redistributed. This means the more your brain changes to compensate for your hearing, the less easily it can adapt back to understanding a full range of sound, making hearing aids less effective and harder to adjust to.
Hearing Spa Of Florida
When you want the best in hearing health care, turn to Hearing Spa. At Hearing Spa, we truly believe in communication for all – from our comprehensive audiological testing to our full selection of hearing aids and assistive devices backed up with expert fitting and repairs. This month, make your hearing health a priority with a visit to Hearing Spa.