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Heads Up: Hearing, Speech & Breathing Issues

There’s a lot going on above our shoulders and it’s all pretty important. Hearing, eyesight, taste, smell, and of course, the brain. We should pay more attention and be more proactive in maintaining our head and brain health.

For instance, when was your last hearing test? Do you think that people mumble when they speak to you? Do others complain that you have the TV too loud? May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and a perfect reason to evaluate and treat any speech or hearing difficulties you may be experiencing. Hearing loss is not uncommon for individuals as they get older, but age is only one factor related to hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss can be caused by age, genetics, exposure to loud noise, injuries and illness, among others. This type of hearing loss can often be helped by the use of hearing aids. Conductive hearing loss is caused by infection or other blockage of the ear canal and is usually treated with medication or surgery. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both types. Audiologists are health care professionals that specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing problems. Many offer free hearing screenings. If hearing aids are prescribed and fitted, it’s important to wear them. Untreated hearing loss increases your risk of dementia, isolates you socially, increases your chance of depression and negatively affects your health overall.

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

If you suspect a speech problem, talk to your doctor. Problems forming words, remembering words, vocalizing, or any other type of speech difficulty should be diagnosed as soon as possible. There are a variety of causes for these problems, including stroke, dementia, or other brain problems. Early diagnosis and treatment is always the best course of action. Many times therapy with a speech language pathologist can help individuals overcome speech problems.

Breathing problems from allergies or asthma are at their worst in May, which is why it is also designated as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 50 million people in this country have allergies of all kinds, and nearly 26 million people have asthma. Allergies can present in a variety of ways, from an itchy rash to sneezing and congestion to life-threatening reactions.

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