- Better Hearing and Speech Month
What you need to know about the importance of getting checked for communication disorders
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), an annual event dedicated to raising awareness about hearing and speech disorders. BHSM encourages individuals to understand the importance of early detection, intervention and treatment options for communication disorders. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of getting checked for hearing and speech disorders, signs of hearing and speech disorders, and questions about how Sesame can help you access auditory and speech pathology resources to help with communication assessments.
Why is it important to get checked for hearing and speech disorders?
Hearing and speech disorders can significantly impact a person's quality of life, affecting not only their communication but also their mental and emotional well-being. Early detection and intervention are crucial in addressing these issues and preventing further complications. By getting checked for hearing and speech disorders, individuals can:
- Identify potential problems early on: Early detection, especially in early childhood, can make a significant difference in the success of treatment and the prevention of additional issues. The sooner a disorder is identified, the more effective the intervention will be.
- Improve communication skills: Hearing and speech disorders can hinder one's ability to communicate with others, leading to social isolation and frustration. Addressing these issues can improve relationships, self-confidence, and overall well-being.
- Enhance academic and professional success: Communication disorders can negatively impact academic and professional performance. Early intervention can help individuals overcome these challenges and achieve their full potential.
- Prevent further health issues: Undiagnosed or untreated hearing and speech disorders can lead to additional health problems, including anxiety disorders and even an increased risk of falls. In fact, a study from JAMA Internal Medicine found that even a mild degree of hearing loss triples the risk of an accidental fall. Early detection and intervention can help mitigate these risks.
## What are signs of a hearing disorder or speech disorder?
There can be a number of signs that indicate that you or a loved one is affected by a hearing or speech disorder. Some common symptoms of hearing disorders include:
- Frequently asking others to speak up or slow down when talking, especially in noisy environments
- Constantly having to turn up the volume on their phone, TV or radio
- Getting distracted or bothered by background noise
- Hearing ringing in the ears (this is also known as tinnitus)
- Muffling of speech or other sounds
Common signs of speech disorders may include the following:
- Frequently adding interjections like “um,” “ah,” or “uhh” while speaking
- Head jerking or blinking while speaking
- Repeating certain sounds, words, or parts of words or phrases (this is common in younger children but may be an indication of a speech disorder if occurring after the age of 4)
- Frustration or embarrassment with communication attempts
If you are noticing any of these signs, it may be time to talk to a healthcare provider about an assessment for hearing or speech disorders.
## Can I access hearing and speech resources on Sesame?
Sesame understands the importance of prioritizing communication health, which is why we provide access to both hearing and speech assessment resources. If you or a loved one is seeking hearing assessment resources, you can access free Audicus virtual hearing tests nationwide through SesamePlus, as well as discounted in-person hearing consultations, hearing evaluations and tinnitus evaluations if you are located in New York.
Additionally, Sesame offers access to speech pathologists who are dedicated to providing comprehensive assessments and individualized treatment plans for individuals with speech and language disorders. Our professionals work closely with patients to develop tailored strategies to improve communication and enhance overall quality of life. If you or a loved one is seeking assistance with assessments or treatment of speech disorders, you can search on Sesame for speech pathologists near you to review prices, availability and more.
Better Hearing and Speech Month is an excellent opportunity to prioritize your communication health and seek the necessary assessments and support. With Sesame's access to speech pathologists and hearing resources like Audicus, you can ensure that your hearing and speech concerns are addressed effectively and affordably. Don't hesitate to take advantage of these services and prioritize your communication health during BHSM and beyond.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disorders and variations. asha.org/policy/RP1993-00208/.
-Lin, Frank. Hearing Loss and Falls Among Older Adults in the United States. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518403/.