Approximately 46 million Americans experience some form of communication disorder. Communication disorders can compromise physical and emotional health and affect the social, educational, vocational, and recreational aspects of life.

May is "Better Hearing & Speech Month."

Below are some tips from Audiologist Caitlin Helstrom from TAMC's Ear, Nose, & Throat Services:

Do you or someone you know have difficulty hearing in noisy environments such as a restaurant, shopping mall, in cars, or at the movie theater? Do you feel like people seem to mumble all the time? If so, you might have a hearing loss.

The truth is that over 17 percent of U.S. adults live with hearing loss and it's the third most prevalant health problem facing Americans today. It affects 1 in 4 households.

Even with a mild hearing loss, a study from Johns Hopkins indicated that
seniors were twice as likely to develop dementia compared to those with normal hearing. Hearing loss can be caused by several factors including exposure to excessive loud noise, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease.

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One way to prevent hearing loss is to protect your hearing. Wearing hearing protection around loud sounds is very important. There are different types of hearing protection such as foam ear plugs, ear muffs, and custom hearing protection devices. Also, turning down the loud volume when listening to the radio, TV, or mp3 player is important. Avoiding noice when possible is also crucial, and other than hearing protection, it's important not to put anything in your ear.

Hearing helps us to make memories, learn language and to connect with others.

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