Achieving Overall Family Health

Keeping your family healthy is one of your roles as a parent or grandparent. But healthy is a general term that many people associate with just physical health. Our audiologists want to remind you that May is Family Wellness Month which aims at increasing awareness for families when it comes to your family’s physical, mental, emotional, and hearing health. Wellness activities are planned and information is available for how to achieve family wellness through a means of advice. We also offer advice and awareness on how to protect and treat hearing loss and what to look for with all members of your family.

When it comes to your children, Otitis media is the most frequently diagnosed disease in infants and young children. According to the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), otitis media is an inflammation in the middle ear (the area behind the eardrum) that is usually associated with the buildup of fluid. The fluid may or may not be infected. Furthermore, the symptoms or issues can vary. One possibility is a single short period of thin, clear, non-infected fluid without any pain or fever but with a slight decrease in hearing ability. At the other extreme are repeated bouts with infection, thick “glue-like” fluid and possible complications such as permanent hearing loss. The organization also states that “fluctuating conductive hearing loss nearly always occurs with all types of otitis media. In fact it is the most common cause of hearing loss in young children.” Other concerns for hearing loss include congenital causes present at birth. It can include hereditary hearing loss or hearing loss due to other factors present either in utero (prenatal) or at the time of birth. For teens, the most important thing that they can do is protect their ears from loud music, both at concerts and with headphones. The Journal of Pediatrics says 12.5% of kids between the ages of 6 and19 suffer from loss of hearing – 2 factors are earbuds & MP3 players with high volume!

Adults in your family should also take precautions and be aware of the risks and factors involved in hearing health. According to the ASHA, “Hearing loss in adults can either be inherited from your parents or acquired from illness, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, exposure to loud noise, tumors, head injury, or the aging process.” Age is directly related to hearing loss. Audiologists explain that hearing loss occurs when the tiny hair cells are damaged or die and do not regrow. Caring for your hearing as you age will potentially keep your hearing health better. That is why awareness is so crucial for all family members to have. What you do to your ears as you age will affect your hearing later in life.

Our audiologists offer a number of services to protect, improve, or treat hearing loss disorders. We have hearing aids for those members of the family who need to improve hearing. They find themselves avoiding conversations, asking others to repeat themselves, and turning the volume on the television up loud just to be able to hear it. Children and teens could benefit from our ear molds, custom-fitted to protect their hearing while swimming or from loud noises. They fit and work better than average ear plugs and can save their hearing in the long run. We also have ear wax removal, middle ear testing, assistive listening devices, and aural rehabilitation to support hearing health. Hearing health is linked to overall wellness. When a person hears better, often their quality of life improves as well as their emotional well-being. Focus on the overall wellness of your family and contact our audiologists to see if any member of your family could benefit from our services.

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