WASHINGTON, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Better Hearing and Speech Council (BHSC) announced today that it has a major national campaign to urge people to get their hearing checked during May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month.
Across America Hearing Check Challenge (www.hearingcheck.org) -- an online hearing test that lets individuals quickly and confidentially determine if they need a comprehensive hearing check by a hearing professional -- has been updated and is now more easily accessible.
BHSC also is urging other national organizations to link to the hearing check website. The BHSC has created an assortment of click-through icons that organizations can place on their home pages. These icons link web browsers directly to the Across America Hearing Check Challenge and can be downloaded from the BHSC website at www.BHScouncil.org.
"Research shows that hearing health affects everything from job performance and income to personal relationships," says Sergei Kochkin, PhD, executive director of the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) and a leading member of the BHSC. "Unaddressed hearing loss can erode the individual's quality of life, undermining family relationships, interfering with short-term memory, and creeping into virtually every aspect of daily living. Increasingly, research shows a correlation between hearing loss and other chronic medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and Alzheimer's."
The BHSC urges everyone, young and old, to rise to the challenge and check their hearing. By visiting www.hearingcheck.org and walking through a 15-question self-screener, anyone can easily take the first step in addressing hearing loss.
The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, there are common indications. Symptoms of hearing loss include not being able to hear well in a crowded room or restaurant, having trouble hearing children and women, keeping the television or radio turned up to a high volume, needing to ask friends to repeat what they're saying, or experiencing ringing in the ears.
During Better Hearing and Speech Month, the BHSC also is warning people of the financial dangers of leaving hearing loss unaddressed. People with untreated hearing loss lose as much as $30,000 in income annually, depending on their degree of hearing loss. The cost to society is estimated at $26 billion each year in unrealized federal taxes. To those with unaided hearing loss, the yearly cost is estimated at $176 billion. However, in a recent BHI study, the use of hearing aids was shown to reduce the risk of income loss by 90 to 100 percent for those with milder hearing loss, and from 65 to 77 percent for those with severe to moderate hearing loss. What's more, hearing aid use was shown to reduce unemployment among hearing aid users.
"We know that too many people wait years, even decades, before getting treatment for hearing loss -- because they're either unaware of the extent of their hearing loss or too afraid to confront it -- losing out on so much," Kochkin continues. "That's why we're encouraging people to take the Across America Hearing Check Challenge. It enables individuals to take that first, most critical step in the comfort and privacy of their own homes. We hope that many will visit www.hearingcheck.org during Better Hearing and Speech Month to reclaim their hearing and quality of life."
More About Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids
Numerous studies have linked untreated hearing loss to a wide range of physical and emotional conditions, including impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, increased risk to personal safety, irritability, negativism, anger, fatigue, tension, stress, depression, and diminished psychological and overall health. But nine out of ten hearing aid users report improvements in their quality of life.
Advances in digital technology have dramatically improved hearing aids in recent years, making them smaller with better sound quality. Designs are modern, sleek, and discreet. Clarity, greater directionality, better speech audibility in a variety of environments, better cell phone compatibility, less whistling and feedback then hearing aids of the past, and greater ruggedness for active lifestyles are common features.
About the Better Hearing and Speech Council
The Better Hearing and Speech Council is a coalition of national and local organizations dedicated to promoting high quality hearing health and hearing healthcare for all residents of the United States. For more information, visit www.BHScouncil.org.
SOURCE Better Hearing and Speech Council