Happy May! And happy Better Hearing & Speech Month. Last year, we posted a blog about this month-long movement to help raise awareness of hearing loss and speech problems as well as to promote the services we offer. Now we are looking at how you can help pass along the message and get the information out there.
How Can You Help?
For more than 90 years, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has dedicated the month of May to helping teach the public about hearing and speech disorders.
If you are one of the nearly 48 million people in Katy, TX and around the country with hearing loss, this is the time to help educate others. But before you can start sharing information and promoting awareness, it is important that you understand why and how hearing loss occurs.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
There are a number of factors that can lead to hearing loss. There are three main categories: conductive, sensorineural and mixed hearing.
Conductive hearing loss occurs when the outer or middle ear is damaged. Typically this is 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
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. Also called nerve deafness, this type of hearing loss is caused by:
- Head trauma
- Viruses or disease
- Malformations of the inner ear
- Meniere’s disease
Mixed hearing loss is exactly what you think it is – a problem with both the outer or middle ear and the inner ear.
The treatment your Katy audiologist prescribes for you is based on your type and degree of hearing loss. This is why audiological exams are so important, as they give your audiologist the information they need.
Talk to Family and Friends
Chances are that someone you know is currently experiencing hearing loss, as experts estimate that nearly one in five Americans report some degree of loss. You will never know unless you start talking about it.
Sharing your experience with hearing loss and the benefits of seeking help can help motivate others that are still hiding their condition. You can offer to accompany them to their first visit (after all, you already know what questions to ask) or take them out to lunch as a little reward for making (and keeping) their appointment.
Help Spread Awareness
Maybe you don’t know anyone personally with hearing loss, but that does not mean you can’t still spread the word. With the rise in social media, it has never been easier to share informational articles with others.
If you want to help promote hearing health, the month of May is a great time to start. To learn more about protecting your hearing, contact your Katy audiologist today.