Each year in May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month, a month dedicated to increasing awareness around issues concerning hearing and speech.
What does “better” mean when it comes to hearing?
For those who don’t have hearing issues, hearing happens passively. We hear whether we want to or not. But if you have hearing loss, hearing becomes an activity that requires participation, energy, concentration and focus.
How many of us are guilty of saying about a loved one, “she hears when she wants to?” If she has hearing loss, she does want to hear but she may not be aware of the full limits of her hearing. She hears, but her ears aren’t giving her all the information she needs to get the whole message and the concentration and energy involved in trying not to miss what’s said can be draining and not worth the effort.
The press has given lots of attention to evidence linking untreated hearing loss to a higher incidence of depression, falling and dementia. The theory behind the evidence suggests that using the brain’s resources for listening might mean the brain has less resource to help with social interaction, spatial awareness and memory tasks.
So, what’s the take away message? If you or those around you think you might be having more difficulty hearing, get a hearing test! Be proactive about doing what might be necessary to make hearing better! It’s more that just hearing loss, it’s communication breakdown!
Click here to learn about Hebrew SeniorLife’s Audiology Clinic, an outpatient clinic at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center in Roslindale, MA offering all-inclusive services to help you overcome your hearing loss.