Home Virginians encouraged to have hearing tested in National Speech-Language-Hearing Month
Health, Politics, Virginia

Virginians encouraged to have hearing tested in National Speech-Language-Hearing Month

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May is National Speech-Language-Hearing Month.

Attorney General Jason Miyares wants Virginia consumers to understand the importance of having their hearing tested and offering tips for those who use hearing aids or considering the purchase of a hearing aid.

“If you’re experiencing hearing loss, you’re not alone. Globally, over 1.5 billion people experience and live with hearing loss. I want to help ensure that impacted Virginians have access to the right information when making important decisions about their health,” Miyares said.

Research shows that hearing loss can impact other aspects of an individual’s health and livelihood, especially if left untreated, and includes:

  • Cognitive Decline – untreated hearing loss increases the risk of dementia by 50 percent
  • Balance – untreated hearing loss can increase the risk of falls by 30 percent
  • Social Isolation – the chance of severe loneliness increases by nearly 10 percent with every decibel decrease in hearing ability

Fortunately, research also shows that annual hearing tests and regular use of a hearing aid reduce the risk of cognitive decline, falls and depression. Regular use of hearing aids is associated with a 24 percent lower risk for early death.

Miyares offers the following tips for Virginia consumers who may be experiencing hearing loss and considering buying a hearing aid:

  • Have your hearing evaluated by a medical professional, audiologist, or hearing instrument specialist to learn if hearing aids are the right choice for you
  • Check the OAG’s Consumer Complaint Database or the Better Business Bureau’s website to ensure you are working with a trusted source
  • Understand the level of services offered with the purchase of a hearing aid
  • Although personal sound amplification devices or over-the-counter hearing aids are less expensive, if you have hearing loss, they can further impair hearing if used incorrectly
  • Do your research, be cautious, and read the terms of the sale

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.

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