Have you been living with untreated hearing loss? Do you struggle to follow conversations, or find yourself feeling left out during family dinners or social events? You’re not alone, and nearly 40 million Americans of all ages have hearing loss. That’s why we want to share some inspiring stories with you, and encourage you to do the right thing for your hearing health.
American Speech Language Hearing Association’s Better Hearing and Speech Month
It’s Better Hearing and Speech Month! Every May since 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) dedicates the entire month of May to raising awareness about communication disorders, and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment from improved physical, mental, and emotional health. This year, the theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan”, and you’ll find more information about Better Hearing and Speech Month, along with resources for the whole family, at http://www.asha.org/bhsm/. Now is the perfect time to get inspired and treat your hearing loss.
Hearing Loss in Children
While you might think that hearing loss only affects seniors, that’s far from the truth. Young adults and even children often face hearing loss, and for children, living with untreated hearing loss can be a major road block in their development. Take Landon Potter for example. At the age of 5 he was diagnosed with bi-lateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in both ears. “When Landon received his first pair of hearing aids,” his mom Joyce said, “if opened the world for him.” Before getting hearing aids, Landon was missing conversations, seemed to be ignoring people, and wasn’t playing and socializing like the other kids. Hearing aids changed his life, and that of his entire family. He became a joyful child, motivating his family to be better, and was able to learn and grow along with his hearing peers. His hearing aids allowed him to hear the teacher, interact with students, and learn all the skills he needs for a happy and successful life.
Hearing Loss in Adults
Adults often face hearing loss, either from exposure to excessively loud noise, or through illness or injury. Efim Manevich suffered debilitating hearing loss after a near death experience with Typhus, and lived much of his life with almost no hearing. He learned to read lips, but wasn’t able to participate fully in conversations, and it held him back in many ways. Finally, after many years of struggling, he got his first pair of hearing aids in 1990, and felt a wave or relief. “For the first time I heard the clock ticking and chirping of birds,” said Manevich, and he was able to hear like never before. As the years when by, he upgraded his hearing aids, and didn’t think twice about the cost. The joy of clear hearing is priceless.
Hearing Loss in Veterans
Many veterans suffer from hearing loss, and men and women coming back from active war zones often face debilitating hearing loss and tinnitus. Tony Seahorn started suffering from tinnitus during his tour of duty in Vietnam in the 1960s, after being exposed to an explosion of a 122mm rocket at close range, as well as a direct rocket-propelled grenade that threw him from a helicopter. His time in the army left him with permanent hearing loss, and debilitating tinnitus. He now wears hearing aids in both ears, and has a captioned telephone so he can talk to his friends easily. He also has a service dog who helps him get through the day. Like many veterans, hearing aids have given him a new lease one life, allowing him to lead a happy life with his wife, and enjoy clear communication. In 2008, he and his wife Janet, a neuroscience professor, published a book called Tears of a Warrior, detailing his experience with hearing loss and PTSD, and encouraging veterans to seek help.
Hearing Health Portland
If you’ve been struggling to hear, come celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month with us at Hearing Health in Portland! There’s no better time to take charge of your hearing health, get a hearing test, and find out what sounds you’re missing. Our team of dedicated hearing health professionals will be with you at ever step of the way, and regardless of your age, we’ll provide clear hearing to you and your entire family.