Better Speech and Hearing Month is an opportunity to raise awareness, provide information, and lead activities to promote hearing health for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and many other affiliated organizations.
According to ASHA, this year’s theme is “Connecting People.” It’s never been more critical to maintain our lines of communication with family, friends, and the wider community.
Better Speech and Hearing Month
Many people are unaware of the prevalence of hearing loss, which is under-reported and under-treated. One of the main goals of Better Speech and Hearing Month is to encourage people to go out and get their hearing tested, as so many people who could benefit from treatment are not receiving it.
The first step toward bettering one’s quality of life through hearing aids is receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss. Many people have been persuaded to take this critical step by this particular month dedicated to hearing health over the years.
Other objectives of the Better Speech and Hearing Month include identifying and removing barriers to hearing health care and the reduction of disparities in the accessibility of hearing health care. There are many ways ASHA aims to make hearing healthcare more accessible and affordable for everyone.
Is there a correlation between untreated hearing loss and a breakdown in interpersonal relationships?
People with hearing loss face a wide range of physical and emotional consequences, but the most severe issue is its impact on their relationships.
One of Helen Keller’s many observations was that hearing was the one she missed the most of all the senses she had lost. She pondered that her blindness and deafness had separated her from the world around her. Even our very survival depends on our ability to communicate and connect with others. Here are some examples of how untreated hearing loss can impact one’s relationships with others in honor of this month’s Better Speech and Hearing Month theme.
Untreated hearing loss has been shown to impact our relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. The people who are closest to us are particularly affected.
Talking about “the little things” is impossible. It’s common for couples to talk about the tiniest aspects of their lives daily. An amusing story from the office or a quiet word of encouragement or support. They may seem inconsequential, but they are crucial to maintaining intimacy, a sense of companionship, and the feeling of being loved. Even in the strongest of relationships, isolation and loneliness can creep in when these small communications are difficult or impossible because of hearing loss.
Secondly, the inability to participate in shared experiences. Whether you’re dating or married, having fun together and trying new things like traveling, a dinner party, or seeing a movie are essential to any relationship. These social events can be stressful for the person with hearing loss and their companion because it is difficult for the hard-of-hearing person to hear and communicate in noisy situations. This can lead to a decrease in self-confidence and a decrease in participation in previously enjoyed activities, which can lead to an increase in social isolation for the person with hearing loss and isolation for those close to them.
Dispossession of one’s freedom. When one partner suffers from hearing loss, the other partner often serves as a “hearing helper” by translating and repeating what is said. While this may appear to be a natural and unproblematic way to communicate, it can cause resentment to grow between the two parties involved in the conversation. The hearing partner may grow weary of doing this, while the deaf partner may resent being reliant on their hearing partner.
What can hearing aids do for those with hearing loss?
Is there a silver lining in this cloud? Hearing aids have been shown in numerous studies to improve a person’s quality of life, relationships, communication, and enjoyment of social events for those who suffer from hearing loss. The best part of life is being able to share it with those you love, and hearing loss should be no barrier to that.
A wide range of audiological services is available at our clinic, including hearing tests, tinnitus management, hearing aid fittings, custom hearing protection, and more. This month, don’t put off getting your hearing tested if you’re experiencing any difficulties connecting with those around you.