Every year, the month of May is used to bring awareness to a communications issue that 10% of the world’s population is affected by Hearing Loss and Speech Problems. With 5% of the population experiencing some form of hearing loss and another 5% experiencing some form of a speech problem, that means someone we know maybe dealing with these issues.  Seeing as this problem is more common than most people would think, it makes sense that there is effort to make the issues common knowledge. Recognizing hearing and speech issues is the first step to managing the symptoms to finding solutions.

Those in the medical field who specialize in hearing, balance and the ear in general are called audiologists. Audiologists have training in communication, how it can be affected by certain conditions and how patients can manage and treat these complications.

When it comes to communicating with someone experiencing hearing loss or speech problems, it is best to ask them how they prefer to communicate. Communication can include written messages or notes, sign language or simply speaking at a louder volume.  If a business is made aware of an issue, steps can be taken to ensure the best accommodations are made.  Most companies send out text messages and emails to communicate with clients or patients and call as a last resort, which allows people to manage appointments on their own time with the added bonus of written words. Written words can be reread at the reader’s own pace, which eliminates any confusion or embarrassment someone may experience by asking others to repeat themselves if they cannot hear well or misunderstand the speaker the second or even third time. 

While anxious or socially awkward people would prefer to communicate over the phone, those with speech problems would benefit from text messages and emails.  Phone conversations may not be their top preference since people with speech problems often are misunderstood. Speech problems can be characterized by uneven tempos in speech, repeating words, repeating syllables in words and difficulty pronouncing sounds correctly. A phone call can make conversations harder to understand and is not ideal for someone who is hard of hearing or has a speech impediment. 

For over 90 years, there have been efforts made to help increase awareness for better hearing and speech and how to help those who maybe experience these issues. Let us each do our part in sharing information and continue to bring awareness to those we know and love and let them know help is out there.

Please schedule your hearing assessment checkup with Southern Nevada Audiology in Las Vegas today!  Learn more about the advancements in modern hearing aids.