May is Better Hearing & Speech Month!

May 17, 2018

Since 1927, May has been Better Hearing and Speech Month.  All this month, clinics and hearing organizations are going to be working hard to bring hearing healthcare awareness to the public.  We are going to do something a little different for our May blog post as our way of participating: we’re going to invite you to help us and others with hearing loss!  

This month, we will be collecting questions sent to us via our (Contact Us) page and (Facebook) and respond not only directly by email or Facebook Messenger, but also list the submitted questions and answers in our blog post next month!  This way we are able to more directly assist curious folks out there and assist our readers by answering questions from their peers.  We believe that the community plays a big part in healthy hearing and a healthy life.

While we gather the incoming questions, here are some fun hearing facts!

  1. Noise is a type of pollution!  It is tasteless, odorless, and invisible, and yet it can have negative psychological and physiological effects such as hypertension, stress, sleep disturbances, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
  2. Haberdashers (folks who sold sewing supplies) used to use a bit of their own earwax to smooth the ends of thread to make it easier to insert into a needle.
  3. The right ear is more efficient for listening to speech, while the left is more efficient for listening to music.
  4. There are many phone options available for folks who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, including texting, amplified or captioned phones, and video calls like Skype and Facetime.
  5. Only 1 in 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one.
  6. You continue to hear even while you are asleep, your brain just chooses to ignore the incoming sound signals.
  7. The cochlea, a snail-shaped organ in the inner ear, is tonotopic like a piano.  If you unroll the cochlea the hair cells are organized with the low-frequency receptors at one end and the high-frequency receptors at the other end.
  8. If your child is struggling in school, have their hearing checked!  Close to 37% of children with even a mild hearing need to repeat at least one grade level.
  9. You can get goosebumps from a song because your body thinks you’re scared!  Some singers are trained to hit the frequency of a human scream and this causes our body to react as though we are in a frightening situation.  This effect is called “musical frisson.”
  10. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition in older Americans after hypertension and arthritis.
  11. There is a nerve called the Chorda Tympani that runs from the taste buds at the front of the tongue through the ear canal.  If the ear is damaged somehow through trauma, surgery, or infection, your sense of taste can be affected as well!
  12. You are never too old or too young to have your hearing tested or to benefit from hearing assistance.
  13. Hearing loss is typically a gradual process so, due to our body’s amazing ability to adapt, we may not know we have a hearing loss for years!
  14. If you have a hearing loss in both ears and have a budget, it is better to treat both ears with a pair of middle-of-the-road hearing devices than to only purchase one top-of-the-line hearing device.  If you treat your hearing unevenly, the untreated side may decline faster and be more difficult to treat in the long run.
  15. Hearing is an individual experience.  Even if two people have the same audiogram scores, one may benefit greatly from hearing aids while the other can get along just fine without hearing aids.
  16. The word “LISTEN” has the same letters as the word “SILENT.”
  17. Fish, birds, and reptiles can fully recover from noise-induced hearing loss, but for some reason mammals cannot.
  18. Chuck Yeager is the first American pilot to travel faster than the speed of sound, which is 1,130 feet per second or 770 miles per hour.
  19. There are 133 films listed on Wikipedia that include a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (HoH) character.  Only 17 of these characters were actually portrayed by a Deaf or HoH actor.
  20. Not only does the middle ear contain the smallest bone in the body, it also contains the smallest muscle in the body.  The stapedius muscle attaches to and stabilizes the stapes bone, tensing to dampen the vibrations from sound waves to protect the inner ear.
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Audiology Professionals

Audiology Professionals