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1927 was the year the first transatlantic phone call was made. It was the year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded. It was the year the Holland Tunnel opened, linking New Jersey and New York road ways. It was also the year Better Hearing and Speech month was established.

In 1927, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) designated May as the Better Hearing and Speech month with the goal of bringing the issue of hearing loss into the minds of Americans. Though we have come a long way in these 88 years, hearing loss still plagues 34 million Americans. This number has doubled in the past 30 years, making hearing loss the third most common problem ailing Americans. What can we do about this?

Get Tested for Hearing Loss in May!

The month of May is the perfect time to get tested for hearing loss and take advantage of reduced-price hearing tests. There are plenty of places to get your hearing tested, everywhere from the nurse’s office to Costco. Be sure to check out your local provider for any deals happening in the month of May.

Tell Your Story About Hearing Loss

ASHA, The American Speech – Hearing Association is encouraging those with hearing loss to speak up. ASHA members can participate in the Share Your Stories movement in order to get their story about hearing loss out there. Through telling your own story, perhaps others can learn from your experience and respond with positive feedback. Since hearing loss is an issue affecting so many Americans, the community built by the ASHA can help to provide resources and make it so you do not feel alone with your struggle. ASHA will feature the stories they find most impactful and honor the story-tellers at their convention. Submission can be sent to [email protected].

Safe Listening for Kids

Though 72% of parents agree that teaching their children about how to safely use audio technology is important, 37 % of parents admit that they themselves listen to audio technology at a high volume. During the month of May, ASHA is partnering with the Boy’s and Girl’s club of Washington D.C. to host a “Listen to Your Buds Safe Listening Event,” aimed at teaching children about the proper use of audio technology. When children know about the negative impact of high volumes, they can instill positive habits for the future. Preventative measures are the best way to combat hearing loss.

By: Diana Michel