According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), an estimated 28 million Americans have hearing loss. If you think you or a loved is among them, there is help. "Better Hearing and Speech Month is a great time for Veterans to get their hearing tested to determine if they have a hearing loss," says DeWayne Hamlin, Medical Center Director.
You or a loved one may have a hearing loss if you:
"Veterans who see themselves in these statements should see one of our ASHA-certified audiologists for a hearing test," states Hamlin. "Even a very slight hearing loss can have an effect on one’s daily life. Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life."
As a first step, Veterans who think they may have hearing loss or other hearing disorders should talk to their primary care provider and ask about seeing a certified audiologist. These professionals specialize in preventing, identifying, assessing, and treating hearing disorders. Also, they provide treatment for hearing loss including properly-fitting hearing aids and other assistive listening devices, and they can teach people with hearing loss how to concentrate on hearing all sounds.
Hearing loss often occurs slowly and has many causes, such as exposure to noise or hearing loss associated with aging. Because this type of hearing loss is entirely preventable, we strongly advise that Veterans use noise-canceling headphones or ear plugs when they are in noisy environments or activities.
"Our Speech Language Pathologists treat a wide variety of speech language, swallowing, and voice disorders," reports Hamlin. "These communication deficits can be a result of neurological problems, head injury, and cancer of the head and neck. Getting these conditions assessed early is key to successful treatment, improving your health, and maintaining quality of life."
Should you have any questions regarding hearing loss or speech language disorders, please call Ext. 4972 and ask to speak with one of our staff.