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TCH promotes Better Speech and Hearing Month

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which serves to provide opportunities to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote the treatment that can improve the quality of life for those experiencing problems with speaking, understanding or hearing.

As spring and summer bring an increase in outdoor activities, this is the right time of year to be more aware of speech and hearing issues. Typical recreational activities can increase exposure to potentially damaging problems.

Here are few tips to keep your speech and hearing in working order this summer.

• Protect your hearing: If you're mowing the lawn, working on an outdoor project that involves loud power tools or watching a fire works display, wear noise protection.

• Use your normal voice: Parties are fun, but they can actually lead to vocal and hearing damage. Loud music and large groups of people talking loudly can cause voice damage and/or hearing impairment.

• You may have a hearing loss if you:

1. Frequently ask people to repeat themselves

2. Often turn your ear toward a sound to hear it better

3. Keep the volume on your radio or TV at a level that others say is too loud

4. Have pain or ringing in your ears (tinnitus)

5. Have an ear infection (swimmer's ear)

6. Have a perforated eardrum

• Common voice disorders: Most of these disorders are related to trauma to the vocal folds from excessive or intense voice use. Vocal nodules, polyps and cysts are common use-related problems that occur in adults.

For more information about the speech and hearing services available at TCH, contact the Rehabilitation Department at (218) 631-7475.