Better Hearing Month - Seniors talkingIf you approach your hearing health proactively, you may have a real reason to celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month this May.

Designed to raise awareness about communication disorders and how treating them can improve lives, this year’s theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” Physicians Hearing Center in Dothan, Alabama knows that better communication requires effort from the person with hearing loss and those around them.

Different types of hearing loss can impact our ability to communicate in different ways. Most hearing losses are either conductive or sensorineural. 

Conductive Hearing Loss

This hearing loss stems from an inability for sound to be normally transmitted to the inner ear. Common causes include ear infections from fluid buildup in the middle ear, ear wax blockage, perforation of the eardrum, or a problem with the middle ear bones. Conductive hearing loss can often be treated with surgery or medical intervention. 

If the hearing loss cannot be treated medically, hearing aids are often a good option because there is no permanent damage to the inner ear, as there is with sensorineural hearing loss. 

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Involving issues of the inner ear or auditory nerve, this type of hearing loss can stem from normal aging or exposure to loud noise. Sensorineural hearing loss can be difficult to treat depending on the severity of the loss and where the damage is located. This hearing loss is permanent – most hearing aid wearers have this type of hearing damage.

Tips For Better Communication

Better communication isn’t a one-way street. It requires effort from both the person with hearing loss and friends and family who interact with them. Some tips to try include:

  • Speak clearly and slowly without shouting, which distorts speech
  • Face the person with hearing loss, in good lighting
  • Get their attention by saying their name before starting a conversation
  • Don’t speak too quickly or use complex sentences
  • Minimize background noise to improve understanding

To find out more about how services at Physicians Hearing Center in Dothan, Alabama can help improve your communication abilities, call us at 334.673.7399.