May is ‘Better Hearing and Speech Month’

DEKALB—An estimated 28 million Americans have a hearing loss that can be treated. You could be one of them. May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a good time to take stock of your hearing and seek help if you have a problem.

You have hearing loss if you:

frequently ask people to repeat themselves;

often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better;

understand people better when you wear your glasses or look directly at their faces;

lose your place in group conversations;

keep the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud;

have pain or ringing in your ears.

“People who see themselves in these statements should see an audiologist for a hearing test,” said audiologist Karen Munoz. “Even a very slight hearing loss can have an impact on your daily life. Hearing loss is treatable, and there is no reason for anyone to miss all the important sounds of life.” An annual hearing checkup is a good idea for people age 45 and older, according to audiologists, the professionals who specialize in preventing, identifying, assessing and treating hearing problems.

Audiologists can prescribe hearing aids and assistive listening devices, and they can teach people with hearing loss how to concentrate on hearing all sounds. Audiologists are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and in Illinois are licensed by the state.

If you suspect a hearing problem, call the Northern Illinois University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic at (815) 753-1481.

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