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.