A young boy speaking letters. Text reads May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Communication across the lifespan.

Each May, Noisy Planet joins the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) (link is external), one of our collaborators, in observing Better Hearing and Speech Month. Noisy Planet celebrates this annual opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and hearing healthin particular, the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. This year’s theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” Noisy Planet reminds preteens, parents, and professionals who interact with preteens that hearing loss from noise typically develops slowly over time, so it is important to form healthy hearing habits early.

During Better Hearing and Speech Month, join Noisy Planet in spreading the word about hearing protection with our new educational resources:

Three preteens illustrate three ways to protect your hearing from noise-induced hearing loss: lower the volume, move away from the noise, and use hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Poster features a young girl wearing protective earmuffs and smiling as she is surrounded by cartoon drawings of noise sources including a jet, a motorcycle, a lawn mower, an ambulance, fireworks, and an electric guitar.How Loud Is Too Loud? Poster that presents the decibel levels of various electronic devices, vehicles, machinery, and conversations, and discusses ways to protect your hearing.

  • Share our updated Better Hearing and Speech Month image, available in English and Spanish.

A young boy speaking letters. Text reads May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Communication across the lifespan.Mayo es el mes para una mejor audición y habla. Comunicación desde la niñez hasta la vejez. Logo de los Institutos Nacionales de la Salud / Instituto Nacional de la Sordera y Otros Trastornos de la Comunicación. Perfil de la cara de una mujer mientras habla. Hay letras saliendo de su boca y flotando en el aire.

Preventing hearing loss promotes lifelong learning, and staying connected to our family, our friends, and our surroundings. Approximately 13 to 18 percent of U.S. teens have signs of possible noise-induced hearing loss, according to a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in September 2017. Although the study showed that the overall prevalence of this form of hearing loss did not change significantly over 22 years (from 1988 to 2010), that’s still a lot of teens who are likely to lose some of their hearing over time. In addition, tens of millions of U.S. adults ages 20 to 69 have measurable hearing loss likely due to noise exposure. Children and teens who develop healthy hearing habits early on can take steps to protect their hearing for life!

Noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by adopting these healthy hearing habits:

  • Lower the volume.
  • Move away from the noise.
  • Wear hearing protectors such as earplugs or earmuffs.

Learn more about Better Hearing and Speech Month and about disorders related to hearing, voice, speech, and language on the NIDCD website.

Last Updated Date: 
April 23, 2019