Hearing, Speech, Language, or Swallowing Problems?
May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. According to Speech-Language and Audiology Canada, 1 in 6 Canadians has a speech, language or hearing problem.
Speech-language pathologists can provide therapy to help with language, speech and swallowing.
Older adults and seniors may experience swallowing and communication problems such as difficulty speaking or understanding, voice problems, or cognitive problems (thinking and memory), for a variety of reasons including:
- Head injury
- Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological diseases
- Respiratory illnesses
- Medication side-effects
- Alzheimers Disease and other types of dementia
- Psychiatric disorders
(Photo: Speech Connection of Florida)
Audiologists can help with hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), balance problems and other auditory disorders.
Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic disability in older adults, affecting 80% of nursing home residents, and 20% of senior citizens over the age of 65. Hearing, balance and other auditory disorders experienced by older adults and seniors may have as their root cause:
- Noise exposure
- Middle ear dysfunction
- Medications that affect hearing
- Neurological diseases (e.g., stroke)
- Head injury
Help is available and early detection of any problems and early intervention with therapy, is the most effective solution.