It affects millions of children and elderly Americans –trouble with pronunciation, and difficulty communicating caused by hearing loss.
Each year since 1927, The American Speech and Language Hearing Association (ASHA) celebrates Better Hearing and Speech month to create awareness about hearing loss and persuade Americans to get their hearing tested.
Hearing Loss Causes
Hearing loss can start at birth whether it’s caused by genetics or non-genetic factors. It can also occur in children resulting from ear infections, the flu, measles, noise exposure, head injury and chicken pox. Ear infections are common in children, but what makes them more dangerous is presence of fluids that can contribute to hearing loss.
Potential signs of hearing loss include:
- Listening to audio at a high volume (disturbing to others)
- Requiring repetition to catch parts of conversation
- Experiencing ear pain
- Not following conversation or difficulty speaking over the phone
- Misunderstanding conversation.
Flex Spending Account & Speech Health
Even if someone has a hard time communicating due to hearing loss, speech therapy can offer help. A Flexible Spending Account can pay for the costs associated with speech therapy. Language training required for treatment of dyslexia and other learning or language disabilities might also be covered by an FSA. According to kidshealth.org, speech disorders range from issues with production of sound, to stuttering, to problems with pitch and volume. Language disorders including dyslexia can be treated with therapy.
Find a local speech-language specialist via FSAstore.com’s FSA Eligible Services.
Hearing Loss Prevention Tips
- Schedule screening tests to keep hearing in check – as often as necessary.
- Monitor kids’ behavior (if they have difficulty understanding) and health (ear infections and head injuries).
- Save your voice by avoiding talking loudly over others.
- Turning down the TV or radio volume.
- Hearing aids are FSA eligible. Check with your FSA plan administrator to see if your plan covers them.