What is ‘Lousiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month?’
August is Louisiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month!
You might be wondering, “What is this all about?” “Why is it important?” and “Who is it for?”
Continue reading for the answer to all of these questions and learn why you should be involved with this initiative.
What Is It?
August begins a month-long awareness program aimed at bringing attention to your hearing health and the signs of hearing loss.
We all know the importance of yearly physicals, dental appointments and other screenings, but how many of us routinely have our hearing screened?
Hearing loss typically occurs gradually over a long period of time. The symptoms of hearing loss are usually not immediately noticeable. It’s important to establish a baseline audiogram (hearing test) and routinely test your hearing, so that we can monitor and address any changes that may be occurring.
Our world is changing and becoming a much noisier place to live. For example, we are exposed to louder music at concerts and in restaurants. As a result of our changing world of sound, almost 15% of Americans report some sort of hearing difficulty!
A new report from the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) approximates that 28.8 million adults in the United States have some type of hearing loss and could benefit from amplification/hearing aids.
Louisiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month is here to shine a spotlight on these problems and educate our community on the importance of yearly hearing screenings and protecting your hearing.
What Are The Common Signs of Hearing Loss?
Like I mentioned above, the signs of hearing loss aren’t always immediately noticeable and can occur very gradually. Do you know the signs that you or a love one may be experiencing hearing loss?
Often, your loved ones may notice the hearing loss before you do! Increasing the volume on the radio or television, asking for people to repeat what they’ve said, missing parts of conversations especially in noisy places and having trouble hearing on the phone are all signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss.
The only way to actually know if you have hearing loss is to have an audiogram! If you or a loved one seem to be experiencing hearing loss, don’t delay having your hearing tested.
What Happens To an Untreated Hearing Loss?
ou may have seen a recent study from Johns Hopkins University that has linked untreated hearing loss and dementia. This can be a scary thought! I truly believe this is just something to be aware of, not something to fear. We are aware that being sun safe, eating a healthy diet and exercising are ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Treating hearing loss and monitoring your cognitive status are two more ways to keep you healthy and active.
My patients have told me that the worst part of not treating their hearing loss is living with the negative impacts it has on their lives.
Here are some common things that I’ve heard:
• “I miss out on the punchlines of jokes and don’t know what everyone is laughing at.”
• “I haven’t heard so many special family moments and then have to ask my family to repeat.”
• “I hate going out to restaurants because it is too noisy and I can’t follow the conversations.”
• “I want to spend more time socializing with friends, but I’m embarrassed when I can’t follow what they’re saying.”
• “I avoid talking on the phone because I just can’t hear.”
• “My family tells me they can hear the TV from the front door.”
• “I don’t want my family to think that I can’t take care of myself just because I am having trouble hearing.”
• “I’m concerned that I am not going to hear something important during a work meeting.”
You may have read this list and feel confident that you don’t hearing loss or some of these may resonate with you. Either way, I’d encourage you to take the steps to learn more about the status of your hearing.
As an audiologist, I join people on their journey to better hearing. For some, their journey begins right when they notice the symptoms of hearing loss. For others, it is much later. One of the statements that I hate to hear is, “I really wish I would’ve done this years ago!”. I wonder about the special moments, jokes and important things they have missed due to not addressing their hearing loss.
What Happens at a Hearing Screening?
A hearing screening is quick and painless!
First, you’ll sit down with me. We’ll chat about your hearing and ear health history. This is a good time to tell me about any concerns you may have with your hearing.
Second, I will take a look in your ears with my otoscope to ensure your ear canals are free from any debris or wax and that your ear drums look healthy.
Next, I’ll put some headphones on you. You’ll listen for a sound and then press a button when you hear it.
Finally, we’ll discuss the results.
It is as easy as that!
complimentary screenings throughout the month of August
As part of Louisiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month, Selective Hearing is proud of offer complimentary hearing screenings!
You or family member will be able to visit us and have your hearing checked throughout the month of August.
To schedule your complimentary screening, then please call 337-291-9939 or complete the form on this page.
If you have any concerns about your hearing health or you’re concerned about a loved one’s hearing, I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.
I hope to see you soon.
Dr. Ashley B. Thom AuD-F-AAA, CCC-A
MEET 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.
SCHEDULE COMPLIMENTARY HEARING SCREENING
Throughout August, as part of Louisana Hearing Health Awareness Month, we’re offering complimentary hearing screenings
SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLIMENTARY HEARING Screening
During the month of August, to celebrate ‘Lousiana’s Hearing Health Awareness Month’ – we’re offering complimentary hearing screenings. To claim yours, then complete this form.
Alternatively, you can call us: 337-291-9939
WHAT OTHERS SAY
Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what our patients have to say
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