May is National Better Hearing & Speech Month

By W.L. “Hunter” Huntley, III, HAS., BC-HIS –

May is National Better HearingThe Better Hearing Institute (BHI) strongly encourages everyone to have their annual hearing check this month: (especially individuals 55 years of age and older) to ensure you are hearing the best you possibly can. Every year since 1927, the BHI designates May as National Better Hearing & Speech Month. A quick & simple hearing screening will let you know if your hearing is up to par.

Hearing loss usually happens very gradually, sometimes going unnoticed. Often times others will become aware of a family members hearing deficit before the individual with the impairment. Look for these warning signs: asking statements, questions, directions to be repeated; turning up the television louder than normal; hearing people speaking, but difficulty understanding the words; difficulty understanding on the phone, just to name a few. Also, hearing loss may be an indicator for the onset of other maladies; including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Neglecting a hearing problem will cause irreversible damage over time, so it is vital to seek help as soon as possible. Johns Hopkins Medical University and The National Institute on Aging recently conducted studies on individuals with hearing loss, but did not wear hearing instruments. The study concludes that people with even mild hearing problems were twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimers disease. Those with severe hearing impairments were five times as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimers.

This is due to the portion of the brain designated for speech interpretation lacking proper stimulation, causing the brain to atrophy and lose function.

Case studies also show that hearing impaired individuals still in the workforce make less money (on average) than those that seek hearing solutions with hearing devices. This may be because those with hearing loss are perceived to be less efficient doing tasks required on the job; either because they did not understand the directions or requests by superiors completely, or orders were not heard at all. This sometimes creates adverse feelings among co-workers, due to a lack of perception by the hearing impaired person to be a “team player”. Over the course of a career, this could conceivably cost hearing impaired workers to be passed over for raises, promotions, bonuses, or even be grounds for dismissal. These are factors that can be controlled with the proper hearing solutions; and can have a major impact on career earnings and lifestyle.

Also, hearing instruments wearers report to be more self-confident, out-going, and active socially. Improved intimacy with loved ones is also found to be noted by those who obtain hearing solutions versus those people that don’t. This is most likely because there is better communication between spouses; and less stress.

If you or a family member experiences any of these difficulties, please contact our facility 239-997-8288 for a FREE hearing screening during the month of May. Appointments are preferred but walk-ins are also welcome, and will be taken as time permits.

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