This month is Better Hearing and Speech Month. According to the National institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders, an estimated 26 million Americans have hearing loss in some capacity, due to noise.
The good news is that noise induced hearing loss is preventable. Hearing loss due to noise is not exclusive to the senior population, it affects  seniors, children and young adults, and the good news is that it is preventable.

Our Hearing and speech are essential to being productive in our daily lives, and we must take proper care to assure that we are functioning at our highest and healthiest capacity.
How We Hear
Being one of our five senses, hearing is a process of picking up sound, and attaching meaning to the sound. The ear is divided into three parts leading up to the brain. The outer ear, middle ear and  inner ear. How we hear is a pretty complex process. I will summarize the three major parts and their functions.
Outer ear – The ear canal and eardrum – sound travels down the ear canal, to the ear drum causing vibrations.
Middle ear – Three small bones connected in a cluster behind the eardrum at one end and to the inner ear at the other vibrate and creates movement of the fluid in our inner ear.
Inner ear –movement of the tiny hair cells sends electric signals from the inner ear to our auditory/hearing nerve to the brain, which causes what we know as sound.

Listed are a few steps to prevent hearing loss:

  • Turn down your stereo volume
  • Limit your exposure to unsafe sound levels.
  • Wear earplugs


Speech is crucial to our daily existence. Being able to communicate and express ourselves is crucial.  Approximately 40 million Americans experience speech communication disorders. Seniors  may also experience voice disorders often as a result of medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, Parkinson’s or traumatic brain injury. You may also be subject to voice disorders that have existed since childhood, such as stuttering.
If you are diagnosed , or through sudden illness you develop a speech disorder, you should seek treatment from a  Certified speech–language Pathologist .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for our newsletter!
The latest in Medicare news, weekly.
My Medicare Planner