Hearing loss is an invisible disability that affects 1.5 billion people worldwide, yet discussions around it often go unheard. As we proceed into a new year, it’s important to assess how we, as individuals and as a society, can become more involved in supporting those with hearing loss.
Whether through better understanding, support structures, technology or advocacy efforts, engaging with hearing loss can significantly improve the well-being and inclusivity of those affected. Even though it’s important, making time to engage with hearing loss can feel challenging. Let’s look at a few dates to set aside this year for hearing loss engagement.
World Hearing Day (March 3rd)
Organized by the World Health Organization, World Hearing Day aims to raise awareness about hearing loss, promote prevention methods and advocate for ear and hearing care on a global scale. On March 3rd, take the time to spread the word about the importance of hearing healthcare through social media platforms, emails and word-of-mouth channels. One excellent piece of information to share is a list of hearing loss symptoms. Symptoms may include:
- Muffled speech or other noises
- Difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments
- Trouble hearing consonants
- Constantly adjusting the TV volume to a higher level
- Hearing a ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Withdrawing from social settings
National Speech-Language-Hearing Month (May)
ASHA’s National Speech-Language-Hearing Month, celebrated in May, focuses on raising awareness about speech disorders and encourages individuals to prioritize their hearing health. During this month, consider scheduling a hearing test for yourself and your loved ones. Even if you haven’t noticed any observable symptoms of hearing loss, a baseline hearing test can help track your hearing over time, enabling early detection and treatment if required. Treatment options may include hearing aids, cochlear implants and auditory training.
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of hearing loss yourself, noticing them in your loved ones or just interested in advocating for and engaging with the community, consider setting aside time this year to learn and spread the word about hearing loss. To schedule an appointment for a hearing test or treatment, contact South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today to make an appointment with one of our specialists.