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Hearing and speech impairment are conditions that can affect both children and adults. Hearing impairment may also be called deafness or hard of hearing.
Problems in the outer or middle ear or the hearing nerve can cause hearing impairment. These problems can affect one or both ears. Treatment options include:
Speech impairment, also called communication disorder or voice disorder, means that an individual has trouble forming speech sounds. Symptoms of speech impairment include:
Treatments for speech impairment include audiological and speech therapy.
Many different treatments help hearing problems. Hearing aids and cochlear implants amplify sounds to make them easier to hear. Other services, such as learning to read lips, can help you learn to adapt to hearing impairment.
Early intervention (before 6 months of age) helps children develop at the same rate as their peers. Because these children learn the skill of hearing rather than recover hearing, it’s often called hearing habilitation.
Hearing habilitation includes:
Hearing rehabilitation helps adults with hearing problems. These services include:
Speech therapy can help individuals with a range of conditions, such as:
Your speech therapist will create a program for you. It will include activities to help you develop good sentence structure. You’ll learn how to move your lips, mouth, and tongue to make certain sounds if you have problems with pronunciation.
You’ll practice exercises to strengthen the muscles used for eating and swallowing if you have trouble swallowing. Your speech therapist can teach you other communication methods. These may include sign language, gestures, and facial expressions. Your speech therapist can also help you learn to use assistive technology.
Many organizations can help you learn more about hearing and speech and help for hearing and speech problems.
Written by: Janelle Martel
Published on: Aug 07, 2012
Medically reviewed on: Mar 21, 2016: [Ljava.lang.Object;@1892d446
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