Preparing for the spring and summer months might include cleaning out your garden, clearing out the garage, or putting the screens back in the window, but it should also include preparing for Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). For over 50 years, Better Hearing and Speech Month has taken place every May as an opportunity to spread awareness about communication disorders and the life-changing technology used to treat them. One of the most common communication disorders is hearing loss. Hearing loss affects about 48 million Americans, and it can affect people of all ages, genders, and races. Use this year’s BHSM to focus on your hearing health and support those around you with hearing loss. Take these actions to prepare for Better Hearing and Speech Month 2023!
- Educate Yourself – The more you know about hearing loss, the better you can be prepared for your or your loved ones’ hearing loss journey. The symptoms, causes, and treatments for hearing loss can be different for everyone, but knowing the basics will help.
- Protect Your Hearing – Protecting your hearing all year long should be a priority, but BHSM is a great opportunity to refresh you hearing health hygiene. One measure you can take is to limit your exposure to noises above 85 decibels. You can do this by avoiding noisy areas, lowering your volume when you watch television and listen to music, and wearing hearing protection when you can’t avoid loud noises.
- Get Your Hearing Tested – Visiting a qualified local hearing healthcare provider is one of the best ways to participate in BHSM. The provider will be able to evaluate your hearing and establish a baseline to compare future tests to determine if you are already experiencing hearing loss that can be treated with hearing aids. They may also be able to help you with balance issues and tinnitus.