While we focus on building language and reaching speech targets, we often forget that hearing is actually communication’s best friend. In the US, nearly 1 out of every 7 children, ages 6-19, experience hearing loss! In addition, just shy of 1 in 4 adults aged 65 to 74 have a disabling hearing loss. This number increases to 1 out of 2 adults who are over 75.
Some causes of hearing loss include:
- Being born with a hearing loss
- Noise exposure
- Ear infections and illnesses
- Side effects of certain medications
Hearing loss can significantly impact school success and social interactions. Hearing loss is often missed because it is mild or doesn’t happen right away or all at once, which is unfortunate because getting your hearing screened is quick and easy!
Start by asking your school SLP or your primary care physician for a hearing screening. If a hearing loss is diagnosed after an evaluation with an audiologist, there are many options to equip adults and children with the right tools to maximize their hearing potential and thrive, including working with a speech-language pathologist.