What is ‘Lousiana Hearing Health Awareness Month?’
August marks the official Louisiana’s Hearing Health Awareness month.
But you’re probably wondering what it is, why it happens and who it’s for?
So, I want to answer the key questions and explain why you should be getting involved, whether on behalf of yourself or your loved ones.
But let’s start with the big question.
What Is It?
This month-long awareness program is all aimed at bringing attention to your hearing health and the signs of hearing loss.
Because often, we all regularly have our eyes checked, our teeth checked and our blood pressure tested, but hardly any of us have our hearing tested.
With approximately 15% of American adults reporting some form of trouble hearing, and generational changes resulting is us being exposed to louder music and more frequent pressures on our hearing – it would be fair to say that there’s a crisis in the United States.
Especially when you read the latest report from the NIDCD that approximates that 28.8 million adults in the United States could benefit from wearing hearing aids.
Hearing Health Awareness month is here to shine a spotlight on this problem and educate more people to make the right decision to protect their hearing health.
What Are The Common Signs of Hearing Loss?
The hardest part of hearing loss is that it’s often a gradual process, which means that it happens unnoticeably slow.
But over time, as you feel that your hearing is normal with no benchmark to ever test it against, your hearing may have suffered and be at a lot lower capacity than it used to be.
The first signs of hearing loss are often based on your loved ones or friends noticing – you may have the television or radio louder than usual, you may be missing parts of conversations or you may struggle to understand what people are saying in noisy environments.
The truth is, there are not many clear signs of hearing loss – it’s why having your hearing tested just to be safe is always a good idea.
What Happens To an Untreated Hearing Loss?
Well, there are a scientific studies that link untreated hearing loss to things like dementia – but in all honesty, I know that won’t drive you to testing your hearing – because we’re constantly told that eating certain foods will make us ill or drinking certain drinks will cause certain diseases.
From our patients perspective, the worst part of not treating a hearing loss is having to live with a poor level of hearing.
It impacts on your qualify of life, which is invaluable.
- Missing out on special family moments where everybody laughs but you miss the joke
- Not being able to perform at work because meetings or phone calls are awkward
- Having your kids think that you’re old and need help to look after yourself
The worst part of having an untreated hearing loss is the negative impact it has in all other areas of your life.
WHen Should I Have My Hearing Tested?
You may be reading this feeling confident that you don’t have a hearing loss or feeling that some of the things I’ve said resonate whilst others don’t.
My encouragement to you is to bite the bullet and have it tested, as you have nothing to lose, but so much to benefit from.
One my biggest frustrations as an audiologist is that I spend far too much of my time helping patients where it’s too late, whereas if they visited me and had their hearing tested several years earlier, we could have done something about it.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
What Happens at a Hearing Test?
It’s quick, pain-free and you receive the results straight away.
You’ll sit down with me personally, I’ll take a quick look in your ears to ensure your ear canal and ear drum look healthy and then we’ll pop some headphones on you.
It’s very simple, every time that you hear a sound, you press a button.
The headphones will then play a range of tones, to understand what you can hear and can’t hear from each ear.
At the end, we’ll take the earphones off you and we’ll plot your results on an audiogram – I’ll then be able to discuss the results of the test and make my best recommendation from there, whether a hearing loss is discovered or not.
What’s the price of a hearing test?
The average price of a hearing test varies from $100.00 to $300.00.
However, as part of ‘Louisiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month’ – at Selective Hearing, we’re offering complimentary full hearing tests.
You’ll be able to visit us and have your hearing comprehensively tested throughout the month of August.
To schedule your complimentary hearing test, then please call 337-291-9939 or click here to schedule online.
If you have any concerns about your hearing health, or you’re concerned about a loved one’s hearing loss, then I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.
I hope to see you soon.
Dr. Ashley B. Thom AuD-F-AAA, CCC-A
Have a Question?
Request a call back from one of our hearing care specialists to have your question answered
Dr. Ashley B. Thom
Dr. Ashley B. Thom, AuD-F-AAA, CCC-A, grew up in Abbeville, Louisiana. As a junior at LSU in a Speech Pathology class, she realized a love for speech, language, and hearing, as it relates to our sense of self. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Disorders, that love persisted, and Dr. Thom graduated in 2011 with a Clinical Doctorate in Audiology from Louisiana Tech University.
Since joining Selective Hearing in 2011, Dr. Thom continues to make sounds and language more accessible to the hearing impaired and takes pleasure in learning about each patient’s unique hearing and communication needs.
When not in the office, Dr. Thom spends active family time with her husband and local nieces and nephews. She is a member of the Junior League of Lafayette where she regularly volunteers with a focus on making a better community for women and children.
Dr. Thom is an active member of the Louisiana Academy of Audiology, and has been serving as a board member for two years, and was the 2016-17 President of LAA.
The different styles of hearing aids
Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) – the tiny and often invisible hearing aids
These are ideal if you suffer from mild to moderate hearing loss as they are custom-fitted as well as coming in a choice of colors. They’re unique as they’re inserted deeper into the ear canal, so depending on your ear, they’re often invisible when worn, which is a huge plus for the style-conscious wearer.
Completely-In-Canal (CIC) – Mostly invisible (unless you look closely)
Unlike the IICs, these aids are comfortably inserted and extracted from your ear, with the small “handle” peeping out the side. They are custom-made and mostly invisible, as well as coming in a range of colors to match the skin-tone of your inner ear. They’re the perfect choice if you have mild to moderate hearing loss.
In-The-Canal (ITC) – Discreet but can be seen
If you have mild to mildly severe hearing loss, then you will benefit from these ITC hearing aids because of their custom-fit, skin-match design, and simplicity to insert and extract. Easily disguised as part of your natural ear, these aids are the perfect option if your hearing is diminishing at a steady pace.
In-The-Ear (ITE) – Custom fitted hearing aids that fit within the outer portion of the ear
Mildly severe to severe hearing loss patients can benefit from choosing the ITE hearing aids, as these provide maximum hearing coverage and comfort, due to their sleek design that fits perfectly to the outer entrance of your ear. Coming in a range of colors, they’re custom made and can be matched to your skin tone.
Receiver-In-Canal (RIC) – Small, discreet and quick to fit. Perfect for many first-time hearing aid wearers
Barely visible when worn, the RIC style is an instrument in which the receiver, or speaker, is inside the ear canal. Thin electrical wires are used instead of a plastic acoustical tube, reducing distortion. RIC hearing aids provide a comfortable, open fit and are perfect for mild to moderate hearing loss.
Behind-The-Ear (BTE) – The most common style of hearing aid
When you think “hearing aid” – the chances are you’re thinking of the BTE design. Usually worn by moderate to severe hearing loss patients, the technology is housed in the casing of these hearing aids, ensuring they rest comfortably behind the ear while the clear plastic acoustical tube sends the amplified sounds into a customized earmold that’s fitted inside the canal. Available in many different colors, they come with easy to use buttons and are highly discreet.
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Introducing Your Friendly Local Team
Request a call back
If you have a question or concern and would like to receive a call back from one of our hearing care specialists to have a no-obligation conversation about your hearing health, then please complete this form and either Dr. Ashley B. Thom or Kegan Courville will call you back within the next 24 hours.
Alternatively, you can call us: 337-291-9939
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