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May is Better Hearing Month

May is Better Hearing Month

Back in 1927, the month of May was designated Better Hearing and Speech Month.  They did this to raise awareness about the causes and treatment of hearing loss and speech impediments.  Published studies show that almost 2% of adults aged 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss.  The rate increases to 8.5% for adults aged 55 to 64, nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74, and 50% of those who are 75 and older.  Anybody would agree that this is a very serious problem.

What about noise danger in the workplace?

Last year, businesses in the United States spent more than $1.5 million in penalties for not protecting workers from noise.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, industries and businesses spend an estimated $242 million annually on workers' compensation claims for hearing loss related disability.  People who work in loud environments or with loud equipment absolutely need professional quality hearing protection.  Inadequate hearing protection is not only dangerous for the employee but also can be quite expensive for the employer.

Hearing Loss in Kids:

Did you know that modern technology permits kids to be tested for hearing disorders at any age?  This technology now permits the accurate assessment of hearing in children starting within a few hours of birth.  In fact, all states have mandates that testing of hearing be done for the newborn prior to discharge from the hospital.  Our Audiologists can provide the ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response) testing and the OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions) evaluations that are effective tests for infants or children who cannot cooperate with a traditional hearing evaluation.

In children, there are a number of risk factors associated with hearing loss including ear infections, prematurity, diseases, and other various syndromes.  Early detection and treatment will allow for normal development of speech, language, and cognitive development that are on target with a child's peers.  A test of the middle-ear system should be included in a diagnostic hearing evaluation for all children.  Our Audiologists work closely with our ENT provider to help identify the cause of the loss and develop a plan of treatment.

Audiologists with Palouse ENT and Audiology are now available to conduct in office and on-site workplace hearing screenings.  As always, we also perform personal hearing evaluations, hearing aid fitment, and customized hearing protection services to our extended community.


Published on May 31, 2017