March 2, 2023
World Hearing Day is an annual global event held to raise awareness of hearing loss and promote ear and hearing care. On World Hearing Day, March 3rd, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) will highlight the importance of integrating ear and hearing care within primary care, as an essential part of universal health coverage.
There are over 45 million people in the US that have a hearing or communication disorder that impacts how they can interact socially, within the workplace and with their families. Hearing loss affects communication skills which, in turn, can impact their emotional and physical wellness. If left untreated, hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, anxiety and cognitive declines and overall lower quality of life.
Hearing loss can result from an injury or excessive exposure to noise. Some people are born with hearing loss, and in others, hearing declines with age. Even though hearing aids or other assistive devices can help, very few people get the care they need.
Here are some good tips to keep in mind when communicating with someone impacted by hearing loss:
- Make sure before you start talking that you have their full attention.
- Ensure you are in a well-lit room, so the person can read your lips.
- Learn some basic sign language.
- Make sure to face the person you are speaking to and give eye contact.
- Reduce background noise. Turn off the radio or television or close the door if needed.
- Rephrase the sentence. If the person asks you to repeat what you are saying, think of a different way to say the same thing.
Remember, good hearing and communication are important at all stages of life. Hearing loss and related ear diseases can be avoided through preventative care such as:
- Protection against loud sounds
- Good ear care practices
Want to learn more? Click here to find out how speech-language pathologists can help people with communication deficits.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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