penta winston salemIt’s common sense that hearing and communication would go hand in hand. After all, it only takes watching a baby boy as he stares intently at his parents, and then begins to mimic sounds and words, to see that as humans our learning of language is closely linked to our sense of hearing. Communication is important. It plays a major role in our lives, both in sharing
knowledge and in forming relationships.

Therefore, for the many children and adults who suffer from hearing loss, whether mild to severe, the affects reach much further than just the diminished ability to hear sounds. People with
hearing loss often become withdrawn, taking themselves out of social situations where they feel uncomfortable due to lack of hearing. Children with hearing loss might suffer from learning and language problems, which can in turn affect their self-esteem.

In order to raise awareness of and help provide education on the issues of hearing loss and communication, we at Piedmont Ear, Nose and Throat Associates will be joining the American
Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) this May in celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month. This designation was set by ASHA to raise awareness about communication
disorders and the role the organization’s members play in providing life-altering treatments. The education done during this month and throughout the year is designed to help people understand the importance of regular hearing screenings and getting treatment for hearing loss. If left untreated, hearing loss can cause a person to feel isolated and lose connections with friends and family, which can then lead to depression.

This year’s theme, Communication for All, is perfect for highlighting the importance of communication and how good hearing can improve communication. The first step in improving
communication is to diagnose the hearing loss. As many as 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 12 have some degree of hearing loss in both ears, and about 15% of adults suffer from hearing loss.

Signs of hearing loss include:
– Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
– Turning an ear in the direction of sound in order to hear it better.
– Understanding conversation better when you look directly at the person. Seeing their facial expression and lip movements can help someone understand another person better if there is a hearing problem.
– Being unable to hear all parts of a group conversation.
– Experiencing pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
– Listening to the TV or radio at volume levels higher than other people normally listen to.

If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, make an appointment with one of our audiologists for a hearing test. The good news is that many forms of hearing loss can be treated. There are devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants that help people hear better, as well as surgical options to improve hearing.

Communication and socialization are important for our overall health, both mentally and physically. By taking the appropriate steps, you can not only improve your hearing but also
avoid the feelings of isolation and depression that often accompany hearing loss.

Questions? Contact us, or call (336) 768-3361 today to schedule your appointment.