During Hearing Health Awareness Month, I’ve been spreading the word about why you need to act fast when you have a concern.

If you catch an issue early, you can preserve your hearing for years to come with excellent treatment.

However, even before a hearing loss emerges, there are things you can do to avoid acquiring a condition altogether.

This is why I care so much about prevention strategies.

It’s vital for the community

I’m very involved in ensuring that communities throughout Florida get the best hearing healthcare available to them.

One of the groups I regularly assess is members of our fantastic armed forces.

The brave service people who are stationed in Florida put their hearing at risk every day, when firing rifles or witnessing the roar of fighter jets, for example.

Hearing loss prevention strategies are crucial to ensuring that they can remain in great shape throughout their careers.

For years, hearing loss was common among those in the military. But I feel it’s my duty to ensure that those I treat don’t suffer needless permanent damage.

Risks exist in unlikely places

The Florida Keys is famous for its live music scene. It’s part of the culture, and for many, it’s a way of life.

But a hearing loss can arise in the simplest of places, and those who play in bands or regularly go out to clubs are some of the most at risk.

This has been backed up in a recent study that showed young adults who went to noisy recreational settings acquired early-onset hearing loss.

Over time, what can begin as a minor problem, can slowly develop into a more substantial hearing loss.

Protection can stop this from taking place. if you’re interested in learning more, I can discuss the different options with you – from simple foam plugs to custom-fitted devices.

Existing technology won’t help

Often, I’m asked by hunters, “Well, since I’m doing so well with these hearing aids, can I use them when I’m out stalking?”

The answer is always “no!”

Your hearing aids will work fantastically well in day to day environments, helping you to communicate with loved ones.

But for specialist activities – like hunting – you will need different forms of protection to stop the harsh sounds that you might encounter.

I feel it’s important to educate my patients as much as possible about these issues as it is very easy to aggravate a hearing loss without knowing.

Want to find out more? I’m always happy to talk to people about their concerns. So give me a call, and I’ll let you know about the best steps to take going forward.

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Dr. Michelle Couture-Souvenir, Au.D

Dr. Michelle Couture-Souvenir, Au.D., is Florida’s leading doctor of audiology and has over 25 years of experience in this dynamic industry. Before setting up her own business in Florida & Central America, she served as a pediatric audiologist and rehabilitative services manager at the Miami Children’s Hospital. She has worked with patients of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds during her long and diverse career, and she is still heavily involved in international humanitarian projects, helping hearing-impaired children globally.