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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month

What You Need to Know About Hearing and Speech

Person hearing musical notes
  • One in five Americans is affected by hearing loss.
  • Hearing loss can develop at any age and may be caused by many different factors.
  • Hearing loss that is identified early can be helped through treatment, such as hearing aids, medications, and surgery.
  • Speech language pathologists work with many types of patients including those who have cochlear implantation surgery, suffer from a voice disorder or during rehabilitation following treatment for head and neck cancer.
  • Many patients with voice and laryngeal disorders receive voice therapy which aims to change a patient's vocal behavior teach them optimal vocal technique.

Patient Resources

Hearing and Speech Facebook Chat:

Speech language pathologist Kim Webster and audiologist Andrea Marlowe hosted a Facebook chat to answer patient questions about hearing and speech.  Here are a few of the questions and answers.

Q:  Are bilateral hearing aids programmed at 95 decibels going to provide the same benefit as a cochlear implant?

A:  Hearing aids make sounds louder, but cochlear implants can make speech more clear for patients with significant hearing loss. If speech clarity is a problem, the cochlear implant will be the better option in most cases versus a hearing aid for patients with 95dB hearing levels.

Q:  What does the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery do for children who are nonverbal? 

A:  Without knowing the specifics of your child's situation, it's difficult to recommend a communication strategy. For non-verbal children, there are options such as sign language and augmentative (computer-assisted) communication. The best place to start for your child would be thorough speech language and hearing evaluations by a licensed provider.

Cochlear Implant Stories: The Gift of Hearing

Carol's Story

After becoming withdrawn due to losing her hearing later in life, Carol had cochlear implant surgery by Dr. Frank Lin with the Johns Hopkins Listening Center. Watch how Carol's life has been transformed at the age of 72.

Sarah's Story

By the age of 12, Sarah Aquino was experiencing hearing loss so significant that hearing aids were no longer providing her sufficient assistance. Watch Sarah's journey with The Listening Center.

Latest Advancements in Hearing Research

Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss

Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss. The findings add to a growing list of health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical and mental health overall.

Hearing Loss in Older Adults Tied to Poorer Physical and Mental Health

Older adults with hearing loss are more likely than peers with normal hearing to require hospitalization and suffer from periods of inactivity and depression, according to results of a new study by experts at Johns Hopkins.

Health Awareness Packages

See all of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Health Awareness packages.

Find a Hearing or Speech Expert

Meet our team of experts, and find out what services the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery offers at our six locations.

Request an Appointment


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