Mom helping child put on his hearing aid

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, which is a month dedicated to raising awareness about hearing and speech problems. Millions of people in the United States suffer from hearing or communication disorders, and the effects of these conditions can be devastating. At South Florida ENT Associates, we’re committed to promoting awareness and assisting people with hearing and speech disorders in any way that we can.

The Impact of Hearing and Speech Disorders

Many people don’t realize how impactful hearing and speech disorders can be on the lives of those who suffer from them. When you’re unable to effectively communicate with others, it can lead to social isolation, depression, and anxiety. For many people, it can become extremely difficult to maintain personal, romantic, and professional relationships.

Hearing Loss and Quality of Life

Hearing loss can occur for a variety of reasons. It can happen at birth, after an injury, or after prolonged exposure to loud noises. Hearing loss can also gradually occur with age. Regardless of when a person starts to experience hearing problems, the negative effects on their quality of life can be substantial. 

In many cases, people experiencing hearing loss withdraw from their families and friends. Additionally, hearing loss increases the risk of cognitive decline, dementia, and accidental injuries. Although hearing aids can be extremely helpful for those who suffer from hearing disorders, only around 25% of adults receive the treatment they need for these problems.

Speech Disorders Impact People of All Ages

Speech, voice, and language disorders are very common and can affect both children and adults. Approximately 5 to 10% of children in the United States struggle with stuttering, which can make it difficult for them to communicate and form social relationships. Stutters and other speech disorders can also impact the way children perform in school.

In many cases, untreated speech disorders can carry over from childhood into adulthood. Usually, these impairments are deeply ingrained, and intensive rehabilitative services are necessary to correct them. For this reason, many adults choose not to pursue treatment, instead choosing to live with their disorder permanently.

How Can You Protect Yourself From Hearing Loss?

An important part of Better Hearing & Speech Month is informing people about how they can protect themselves from hearing loss. Although you can’t eliminate the possibility of hearing problems, there are measures and precautions you can take to greatly reduce the likelihood of serious issues. These include:

  • Limiting your time listening to headphones
  • Keeping music volume at a reasonable level
  • Using hearing protection like earplugs or noise-canceling earmuffs when around excessively loud noises
  • Using hearing protection when operating a firearm
  • Immediately seeing an ENT specialist if you experience ear pain, discomfort, or ringing

South Florida ENT Associates Supports Better Hearing & Speech Month

At South Florida ENT Associates, we fully support Better Hearing & Speech Month. Our skilled ENT specialists take great pride in helping people who are experiencing speech and hearing disorders. Spreading awareness of these issues, the impact they can have, and how to recognize and prevent them is extremely important. Initiatives like Better Hearing & Speech Month go a long way toward getting people with hearing and speech problems the treatment they need.

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