Did you know that May is Better Speech & Hearing Month? It was proclaimed so by Ronald Reagan to raise awareness about the causes and treatments of hearing loss and speech impediments.
Thirty-six million Americans suffer from hearing loss. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults. Approximately one in three people in the United States between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
Some age-related hearing loss is natural and just a fact of life. However, many older adults have some degree of hearing loss because of exposure to loud noises throughout their lives.
The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85 (dB), such as concerts, sporting events, lawnmowers, fireworks, gun shots, custom car stereos at full volume. Hearing damage also is common for people in certain professions, like law enforcement, firefighting, construction, and more.
Noise is considered dangerous if you have to shout over background noise to be heard, it is painful to your ears, it makes your ears ring during and after exposure, or if you have decreased or “muffled” hearing for several hours after exposure.
Hearing impairment not only affects your ability to understand speech but it also has a negative impact on your social and emotional well-being, as you struggle to carry on meaningful conversations, or avoid outings with big groups.
Don’t miss out on the sound of your life. If you suspect you may have hearing loss, make an appointment for a free hearing screening at your local Beltone clinic.