Campaign puts communication health in the spotlight
Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic disability among older adults and the older we get, the more likely we are to experience hearing loss.
According to Speech-Language Audiology Canada (SAC), 20 per cent of adults over 65, 40 per cent over 75 and 80 per cent of nursing home residents have a significant hearing problem. The causes are varied an include aging, noise exposure, heredity, middle ear dysfunction, medications that affect hearing, neurological diseases (including stroke) and head injury.
Speech and Hearing Month takes place every May in Canada, (SAC) leads this initiative to raise public awareness about the importance of communication health. The following are symptoms of hearing loss that could be affecting you or someone you know.
Signs of Hearing Loss Include:
• Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
• Turning an ear in the direction of sound in order to hear it better.
• Understanding conversation better when you look directly at the person. Seeing their facial expression and lips movements can help someone understand another better if there is a hearing problem.
• Being unable to hear all parts of a group conversation.
• Experiencing pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
• Listening to the TV or radio at volume levels higher than other people normally listen to.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs, SAC encourages you to take action by visiting an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist is a health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating people with hearing problems.
In most cases hearing loss is treatable. Audiologists can teach their clients to concentrate on listening to certain sounds. Hearing loss can often be overcome using either hearing aids or other assistive learning devices.