Hearing problems can happen gradually with age, making them easy to ignore. Yet, they can have a devastating impact — contributing to depression and social isolation among older Americans. In a recent survey of AARP members, more than half reported having untreated hearing health issues. In many cases, the problem isn’t even being discussed. A significant percentage of poll respondents said they don’t discuss hearing problems with family or friends. Yet, nearly 70 percent of poll respondents said they would seek treatment if they were asked to by someone they love. As part of Better Hearing and Speech Month, a new national PSA campaign by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is calling attention to how families and loved ones can help address hearing loss. “Speak Up About Hearing Loss” urges families to break through the silence and openly discuss hearing loss. The campaign will disseminate 30–second video and audio spots in both English and Spanish to major broadcast outlets nationwide, plus feature a website — www.asha.org/hearing/ — where the public can get more information and help. Dr. Berndtson provides tips for families to recognize hearing health issues and address it with loved ones:
•Recognizing hearing loss: Signs that indicate hearing loss and what to do next.
•Quality of life: The negative effect of hearing problems.
•Roadblocks: Overcoming the destructive myth that hearing issues don’t merit medical attention.
•Simple Steps: The importance of getting a hearing exam from a certified audiologist.
•”Speak Up About Hearing Loss”: Key findings behind the national PSA campaign.
The State of Hearing poll was conducted by AARP and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA’s Speak Up About Hearing Loss PSA campaign was recently released. For more information, visit www.asha.org. Taken from www.asha.org/About/news/Press-Releases/2012/New-Campaign-Encourages-Families-to-Speak-Up-About-Hearing-Loss.htm
Dr. Robert Mario, PhD, BC-HIS, is the director of Mario Hearing and Tinnitus Clinics, with locations in West Roxbury, Cambridge, Mansfield and Melrose. He can be reached at 781-979-0800 or visit their website, www.mariohearingclinics.com. Archives of articles from previous issues can be read at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com