Approximately 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from hearing aids. However, only 16% of people between 20 and 69 who need hearing aids use them. One of the main reasons those who need hearing aids don’t use them is lack of awareness about hearing loss and the benefits of treatment. By educating ourselves about its causes, symptoms and treatments, we can actively participate in discussions and raise awareness about hearing loss. Let’s explore two significant opportunities in 2024 to engage with this topic and make a difference.
Opportunities To Engage With Hearing Loss
As you start planning your upcoming vacations, hikes through Fort Lee Historic Park, sporting events and day trips, consider setting aside time to learn about and connect with hearing loss. Two events to add to your 2024 calendar include:
- World Hearing Day. Observed on March 3rd, World Hearing Day is the World Health Organization’s initiative to raise awareness about hearing loss prevention and promote ear and hearing care globally. With over 1.5 billion people living with hearing loss worldwide, this day offers a chance to spread the word on the importance of hearing healthcare through social media, email and personal conversations.
- National Speech-Language-Hearing Month. Previously known as Better Hearing and Speech Month, National Speech-Language-Hearing Month takes place in May. This month-long campaign, led by ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association), aims to raise awareness about speech disorders and encourage individuals to prioritize their hearing health. During May, consider scheduling a hearing test for yourself and your loved ones, even if you don’t currently experience any observable symptoms of hearing loss. Establishing a baseline hearing assessment allows your provider to monitor your hearing over time, enabling early detection and timely intervention. If you have already confirmed you have treatable hearing loss, consider taking the leap into hearing aids in honor of National Speech-Language-Hearing Month.
Understanding Hearing Loss
Understanding the basics of hearing loss and engaging with the audiology world can be informative and rewarding. Take this opportunity to learn a little about hearing loss to help you better engage during your 2024 calendar events.
Possible causes of hearing loss may include aging, exposure to loud noise, genetics, excess earwax, physical damage to the ear, ear infections, ototoxic medication and bone growths or tumors in the ear. While it may not be possible to prevent every cause of hearing loss, recognizing its symptoms early on can help mitigate its effects.
Some common signs of hearing loss include muffled speech or other noises, difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, trouble hearing consonants, turning up the TV volume louder than usual, experiencing ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and withdrawing from social settings.
Engaging with hearing loss this year is just a phone call away. Contact our trusted specialists at Speech & Hearing Associates to schedule a comprehensive hearing test or treatment consultation.