Guthrie Audiologist Shares Personal Story During Better Hearing and Speech Month
To raise awareness for Better Hearing and Speech Month in May, Guthrie Audiologist Dr. Kyle Conrad shared his personal struggles with both hearing and speech as a child and young adult. Conrad was born with a cleft lip and palate and was later diagnosed with hearing loss, resulting in the need for hearing aids.
“I would like to believe that helps me care for patients with communication-related difficulties,” said Conrad. “Because not only do I have that knowledge that was gained through education, but also, I have the experiential knowledge that comes firsthand as someone who is hard of hearing.”
Dr. Conrad says the pandemic has prompted more individuals to seek treatment for mild hearing-related issues that might have gone undetected if not for masking and social distancing.
“Before, an individual might have been able to tell the difference between the word mouth or mouse, but now, with distance and masking, those two words sound very similar to them. So, they’re having to ask for repetition and others to repeat themself.”
Dr. Conrad says one in five teenagers are being identified with hearing loss. The cause could be misdiagnosis at birth or loss acquired over a period of time because of headphone use at unsafe levels.
“There are studies that show there’s a number of headphones that will produce sounds at greater than 85 decibels for an extended period of time. 85 decibels is the actionable level for the Occupational Safety and Health Organization for us to start to incorporate hearing protection.”