Since 1927, May has been Better Hearing and Speech Month. Established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the month of May is used to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, encouraging people to analyze their own hearing and speech, and take action if they think there might be a problem.  Knowing the signs of hearing loss and speech-language disorders is important for individual adults as well as parents of young children.

There are many signs of hearing loss in both adults and children. Adults may notice a buzzing or ringing in their ears, persistent ear discomfort after hearing a loud noise, or muffled hearing as indication they may be losing their hearing. Their peers may notice inattentiveness or failure to respond when spoken to, or that a person avoids conversation, is isolated, or depressed. Children experiencing hearing loss may display lack of attention to sounds such as not responding to their name or following directions, pulling or scratching at their ears, or difficulty in school.

Recognizing the

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In today’s blog post we highlight a number of national and state programs that assist those who are deaf or suffering from hearing loss. Hearing loss affects many Americans, with approximately 3 out of every 1,000 children born deaf, along with 17% of the nation reporting some degree of hearing loss. Symptoms of hearing loss include muffled speech and sounds, difficulty understanding words in a group of people, need to turn up the volume of the radio or TV, and social issues such as withdrawal or avoidance of social gatherings.

What Causes Hearing Loss?

There are two major types of deafness: conduction deafness and nerve deafness. Conduction deafness is caused by an “interruption of the sound vibrations in their passage from the outer world to the nerve cells in the inner ear.” This can be caused by damage to the inner ear, earwax buildup, or ear infections among other causes.

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