Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The aim of BHSM is to raise awareness about hearing and speech problems, encouraging people to analyze their own hearing and speech, and to take action if they think there might be a problem. Treatment can then be given to improve the quality of life in people with communication problems.
AHSA offer many resources for this annual BHSM campaign held throughout May. These resources are tailored for both patients, health professionals and members of the public. A section of their website is dedicated to Better Hearing and Speech Month which features personal stories about this month.
Better Hearing and Speech Month also encourages parents to identify possible speech and language problems in their children which can affect a child’s learning and self esteem. BHSM educates people about the signs of hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss Include:
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
- Turning an ear in the direction of sound in order to hear it better.
- Understanding conversation better when you look directly at the person. Seeing their facial expression and lips movements can help a someone understand another better is there is a hearing problem.
- Being unable to hear all parts of a group conversation.
- Experiencing pain or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Listening to the TV or radio at volume levels higher than other people normally listen to.
If any of these signs are displayed, a person can take action by visiting an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist is a health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating people with hearing problems. In most cases hearing loss is treatable. Audiologists can teach their clients to concentrate on listening to certain sounds. Hearing loss can often be overcome using either hearing aids or other assistive learning devices.