Communication is key. The ability to speak and voice your opinions, as well as to hear others, is an important part of life, yet hearing and speech concerns affect millions of American adults. Approximately 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing, and 1 in 20 suffer from a speech-language disorder.
It is common to have some hearing loss as you get older, but if you are having trouble in the following areas, consider getting help:
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves
- Difficulty hearing people in your own residence, or repeatedly turning up the TV volume
- Describing other people’s speech as “mumbling”
- Experiencing a ringing in your ears (tinnitus)
- Avoiding social gatherings because it will be too hard to hear others
An audiologist is the professional to go to for help. An audiologist will evaluate your hearing and determine if you need an assistive device, such as hearing aids. For those already diagnosed with hearing loss, it is important to follow up with an audiologist annually to re-assess your hearing and determine if your hearing aids need an adjustment.
- Are you experiencing changes in your voice or vocal quality?
- Are you having difficulty expressing yourself or communicating with friends/family?
- Have you had a stroke and subsequent diagnosis of aphasia (a disorder affecting the ability to speak, write, and understand language)?
- Is it difficult to remember information or are you frequently missing appointments?
If you are struggling to keep up with a conversation and feel like your speech or voice is adversely affecting your ability to communicate with others, a speech-language pathologist can help. Speech-language pathologists are experts in communication who work with you to assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing problems. If you are having difficulty with your speech or language, please call McLean Outpatient Therapy at 860-658-3745 to schedule a speech-language evaluation.
Being able to hear and speak is vital to effectively communicating and maintaining an active social life. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month – there is no better time to call an audiologist or speech-language pathologist if you are experiencing a decline in your hearing or speech.