May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

EDWARDS — Since 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month each May. This month is a good time to analyze your own hearing and determine if you are one of the estimated 28 million Americans who have a hearing loss that can be treated. You may have a hearing loss if you:

• Frequently ask people to repeat themselves.

• Often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better.

• Understand people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces.

• Lose your place in group conversations.

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• Keep the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud.

• Have pain or ringing in your ears.

“People who see themselves in these statements should see an audiologist for a hearing test,” said Eagle County-based audiologist Dr. Daria Stakiw.

“Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life,” Stakiw said. “Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life.”

Annual hearing checkups are a good idea for people age 45 and up, according to audiologists, the professionals who specialize in preventing, identifying, assessing and treating hearing disorders.

Audiologists can prescribe hearing aids and assisted listening devices, and they can teach people with hearing loss how to concentrate on hearing all sounds.

Audiologists are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and, in Colorado, are registered by the state. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the national professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 145,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language and hearing scientists.

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