We love May. In May, we get to celebrate incoming summer weather, graduates, and our mothers. On top of this, we also get to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month! During the entire month of May each year, the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), puts together a plethora of pertinent information regarding speech and hearing concerns throughout our communities. While the topics always surround speech and hearing, each year ASHA also assigns a specific theme to Better Speech and Hearing Month.
This year, the theme is: “Communication Across the Lifespan.”
All About Better Hearing and Speech Month
Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was first brought to the public way back in 1927. Since then, ASHA has diligently hosted the event each and every year. The purpose of BHSM is to increase the public’s awareness about issues surrounding speech, language and hearing concerns. ASHA also hopes that BHSM will educate individuals about the life-altering and overwhelmingly positive benefits of seeking treatment for these issues. In honor of this year’s theme, “Communication Across the Lifespan”, we have decided to discuss the benefits of seeking treatment for hearing loss and speech issues at each stage in life.
Benefits of Treatment for Babies and Young Children
Babies and young children rely heavily on their sense of hearing to help them develop an understanding of their world. Babies’ sense of hearing develops before their sense of sight – even before birth! Babies with untreated hearing loss will not be able to develop an understanding of their world or speech skills like their peers without hearing loss. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available for babies and young children with hearing loss to overcome their issues. The earlier a child receives treatment, the better the outcomes!
Benefits of Treatment for School Aged Youth
School aged children with untreated hearing loss tend to fall behind in their progress in academic subjects as well as social situations. They may tend to be seen as “troublemakers” by their teachers because it can come across as if they are not listening or invested in what the teacher is saying. Studies have found that students who seek treatment for their hearing loss are able to progress at the same pace as their peers without hearing loss, both inside and outside the classroom.
Benefits of Treatment for Teens and College Students
Teenagers are at a very important developmental phase in their life. They are testing the boundaries on their surroundings and exert a lot of mental and emotional energy into their identities and how they fit into their social surroundings. If a teenager is having difficulties hearing, she will also experience difficulties in school and difficulties in social situations. Teenagers spend a majority of their leisure time in groups, and often in noisy environments. This can easily become very overwhelming and frustrating for a teenager dealing with untreated hearing loss. Once treated, these effects can be nearly eliminated, allowing teenagers to better socialize and learn – even in the noisy environments they seem to prefer!
Benefits of Treatment for Working Adults
Untreated hearing loss has been found to have a negative impact on social relationships, romantic relationships, and earning potential. Households where at least one income earner lives with untreated hearing loss earn about $12,000 less per year than their peers without hearing issues. Adults with untreated hearing loss are also seen as less competent and are more likely to be passed up for promotions. Luckily, treating hearing loss with hearing aids has been shown to negate these negative impacts and effectively level the playing field.
Benefits of Treatment for Older Adults
On top of all the aforementioned benefits of seeking treatment for hearing loss for working adults, there are also specific benefits for older adults and retirees. One of the biggest benefits of treating hearing loss for older adults is that treatment may prevent or delay the onset of cognitive decline and dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, hearing loss treatment is one of the most modifiable risks for the development of dementia. Through scientific research, it has been found that adults who choose to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids see a significant slowing in their cognitive decline.
Kenwood Hearing Centers
This May, why not take advantage of Better Hearing and Speech Month and get started on your journey to better hearing? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.