ENT Awareness Month: May

May is packed with so many different health awareness events related to disorders of the ears, nose and throat. Take advantage of this month and learn about ways you can minimize or manage symptoms to these life-altering disorders.

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Group of people having a conversation
Group of people having a conversation. CaiaImageJV/Getty Images

Sponsored by: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Other supporters: American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

When: Full month of May

Your ability to speak and hear affect many parts of your everyday life. Most likely your ability to engage in communication is even an important part of your livelihood. Take the opportunity to evaluate what role electronics are having in you ability to effectively communicate with your parents, children, or peers. With smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices in abundance, you may find out that you actually do less communication in person than in previous decades. Find time to "unplug" from the digital world this month and communicate directly with others.

Anywhere you go, you are likely to see others with earbuds or headphones on. Long-term impact to our hearing is possible dependent upon the volume that you set your smartphone or mp3 player. Evaluate your hearing this month and take any opportunities available to receive a free hearing exam.

Also take the opportunity to learn more about people that have disabilities that affect their speech or hearing:

Hand Hygiene Day

Washing hands.
Washing hands. Mike Kemp/Getty Images

Sponsored by: World Health Organization

When: May 5th

While geared towards preventing hospital-acquired infections in the hospital, hand hygiene is important in prevention of illness anywhere. A common trip to the local grocery store can be very common. On May 5, learn take the opportunity to learn what you can expect as a patient and how you can decrease your risk for acquiring a communicable disease in the public.Hand hygiene can be performed by using either hand soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day

Child with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.
Child with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. By Joris (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sponsored by: Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS)

When: May 14th

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) is a genetic syndrome that changes facial features in a specific way that makes people with this syndrome appear very similar to one another. Common facial characteristics include:

  • thin eyebrows that are connected
  • long eyelashes
  • upturned nose
  • low-set ears
  • small teeth with gaps
  • small head size
  • cleft palate

Other features of this CdLS include:

World  No Tobacco Day

Tobacco is the fairy tale poisoned apple.
Tobacco is the fairy tale poisoned apple. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Sponsored by: World Health Organization

When: May 31st

World No Tobacco Day is a time each year to educate the public about the many problems that can be caused by smoking or being exposed to tobacco products. Australia was the first country to implement an initiative to utilize "plain packaging" which requires tobacco products to not utilize colors or text that would make tobacco products enticing. It also requires that packages utilize more effect health safety information.

ENT related disorders that are associated with smoking and tobacco products includes:

National Eosinophil Awareness Week

APFED honors Demi Lovato
APFED honors Demi Lovato. Amy Graves/Getty Images

Sponsored by: American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders

When: third full week of May

Eosinophils are one of the types of our immune system, or white blood cells, that combat parasites, allergies, or cancer. Eosinophilic disorders can cause a variety of problems in any type of tissue in your body. While still considered relatively uncommon, eosinophilic disorders are more commonly diagnosed as this cell type is better understood.

Eosinophils cause inflammation around the site where they are "combating" foreign substances in our body. Learn more about:


American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders. (2015). Eosinophilic-associated Diseases FACT SHEET. Accessed on April 17, 2016 from http://apfed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Fact-Sheet.pdf

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2016). Better Hearing & Speech Month 2016. Accessed on April 17, 2016 from http://www.asha.org/bhsm/

Cornelia de Lange Foundation. (n.d.). Characteristics of CdLS. Accessed on April 17, 2016 from http://www.cdlsusa.org/what-is-cdls/characteristics-of-cdls.htm

National Institute of Health. (2016). Cornelia de Lange syndrome. Accessed on April 17, 2016 from https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/cornelia-de-lange-syndrome

World Health Organization. (2016). SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands - WHO's global annual call to action for health workers. Accessed on April 17, 2016 from http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/en/

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