May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and a good time to determine if you or a loved one should have their hearing checked. Hearing, voice, speech, and language disorders exact a far-reaching toll on public health and individual well-being. According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 46 million people in the U.S. have a hearing or other communication disorder that affects how they engage with their environments. These disorders can occur at any age and in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
Numerous studies have documented the risks of untreated hearing loss. CNC Hearing and Balance Center Neurotologist Moises Arriaga specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the more serious causes of hearing loss besides the aging process. “The biggest misconception is that hearing loss and dizziness are natural parts of aging. They are not,” insists Dr. Arriaga. Some medical conditions that cause hearing loss include structural malformations, inner ear fistula or benign acoustic tumors on the hearing nerve.
Individuals with diminished hearing loss can become isolated from their families and communities. In older adults, untreated hearing loss is also associated with higher total health care costs, increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline, falls, depression, and lower quality of life. Hearing aids and other assistive devices can help people with hearing problems reconnect to others, but only about one in four adults (ages 20 and over) who could benefit from hearing aids has ever used them.
Here are some common signs and symptoms of hearing loss:
The person feels a need to repeat themselves
Difficulty following conversations
People sound muffled or like they’re mumbling
Difficulty hearing in noisy situations like parties or meetings
Have trouble hearing children and women
Need to turn up the volume on your TV or radio to a high level
Have ringing in your ears
Find yourself reading lips
You need to watch people’s faces when they speak with you
Don’t take your hearing for granted. CNC Hearing and Balance Center’s medical team includes experienced medical professionals and audiologists who can determine the cause of your hearing loss and prescribe a treatment strategy.
Call CNC Hearing and Balance Center to schedule an appointment at our offices in New Orleans, Marrero or Mandeville. 504-934-8320.