What Are You Doing To Protect Your Hearing?

October Is…

National Protect Your Hearing Month
&
National Audiology Awareness Month

Have you stopped going to restaurants and social gatherings? Do you keep to yourself when in noisy environments? If you answered yes, you may have a hearing problem.  Some tell signs of hearing loss are: trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as restaurants, difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at them, and/or a constant   pain or ringing in your ears.

Hearing loss is an increasing health concern in this nation that is often preventable. “Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to the normal aging process,” explains the American Academy of Audiologists web site.

The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation. Over half of the 36 million Americans with some degree of hearing loss are under the age of 65, according to the American Academy of Audiology.  One in three developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).  Hearing loss is no longer just a health concern for seniors.

Here are some signs that an event is too loud and that you should wear hearing protection:

  • You need to shout to be heard by yourself and people around you
  • Your ears ring during or after the event
  • You experience a decrease in your hearing or a feeling of fullness in your ears before or after the event

October is National Protect Your Hearing Month.  Alternative Communication Services and the American Academy of Audiology are encouraging Americans to be aware of the danger of NIHL and to protect their hearing.

October is also National Audiology Awareness Month.  On average, most Americans don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss or which health professional is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition.  If you think you may have a hearing loss, you need to see an audiologist or other licensed hearing health care professional.

An audiologist is a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is to get your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. A hearing evaluation will determine the degree of hearing loss you have and what can be done. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.

For more information:

http://www.audiology.org/resources/consumer/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.hearingloss.org/content/understanding-hearing-loss

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