Earlier Detection - Better the Outcome
Every year, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) dedicates the month of May to Speech and Hearing Month, an event aimed at raising public awareness about the importance of early detection and intervention for people with hearing and communication disorders.
This year’s theme, Communication across the lifespan, calls attention to the fact hearing loss affects people of all ages.
Why early detection is key
The earlier hearing impairment is detected, the better the outcome. The reasons for this vary by age.
• In children. Hearing is crucial to the development of language and communication. It’s also an important part of how kids learn. The earlier a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, and the proper measures are put into place, the lower their chance of experiencing developmental delays.
• In adults. Untreated age-related hearing loss is linked to social isolation, depression and even dementia in older adults. Because hearing loss usually develops gradually, it’s important to undergo regular hearing tests to avoid these issues.
Watch out for these signs that your hearing — or that of a loved one — is impaired.
Signs of hearing impairment
• In children. Babies and young children can’t tell you that they don’t hear properly, which is why screenings are so important. Signs to look out for include not startling at loud noises and delays in language development.
• In adults. The first people to notice hearing loss tend to be friends, family members and co-workers. If someone you know asks you to repeat yourself often or they constantly increase the volume on the TV or radio, you might want to bring up the subject of their hearing. Signs you may notice in yourself include muffled hearing and difficulty hearing certain words or sounds.
InterventionLuckily, there are many treatments available that can help those with hearing loss. The sooner they begin, the better the results will be.
• In children. Assistive devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants can be used alongside speech therapy. In addition, teaching them sign language will allow little ones with hearing difficulties to express themselves. There are an assortment of services available in Calgary designed to help kids with hearing loss reach their full potential.
• Adults. There are a wide range of hearing solutions available to adults with hearing loss. This includes a variety of different hearing aid options. Additionally, a frequency modulated (FM) device that uses radio waves to help the wearer hear in noisy environments like classrooms, theatres or other public places can be beneficial.
Take charge of your hearing health
This month, visit one of Soundwave Hearing Care’s clinics in Calgary or elsewhere in Alberta. Even if you don’t wear a hearing aid and think your hearing is fine, an audiology checkup can give you a clean bill of auditory health. Call us today to make an appointment.