If you already wear hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the US, approximately 48 million individuals have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from utilizing hearing aids.
However, of those age 70 and older, only 30 percent of those who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. For those age 20 to 69, it’s only 16 percent.
That’s literally millions of Americans that are losing out on the rewards of improved hearing—benefits you understand first-hand if you use hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to raise awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they produce?
The following are ten ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Discuss hearing loss on social media
Social media is a simple and efficient way to spread the message regarding the benefits of healthier hearing. Let people know how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally improved your life or the life of someone you know.
Although people are normally skeptical of advertising, they’ll always be receptive to personal stories.
2. Volunteer to help those in need
Participate in a local activity like the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk4Hearing event, or coordinate your own to boost awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Get in contact with your local hearing loss chapter and find ways you can help out in the community. Visit the Hearing Loss Association of America to find a local chapter.
3. Donate your old hearing aids
If you’re set to upgrade your hearing aids to a newer model, think about donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be refurbished and provided to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These organizations use the donations to fund research, to deliver education and support, and to offer financial help to those who can’t afford hearing aids or cochlear implants.
5. Start a petition
Most states do not mandate health insurance plans to cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to introduce to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral part of overall health.
6. Help someone with hearing loss
Many people accept as true the myth that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have hearing loss in the first place.
Help people to recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological innovations in hearing aids can help them reclaim their hearing. Help guide them through the process of choosing a hearing care provider, getting a hearing test, and adjusting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems deliver sound straight from the sound source to the individual’s hearing aids. These are found in movie theaters, churches, universities, and auditoriums.
Advocate for the inclusion of hearing loop systems in the most popular community locations.
8. Use hearing protection
One of the best ways to advocate for hearing health is by becoming a hearing health role model. That means protecting your hearing at loud settings, like at concerts or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing evaluated
If you don’t currently use hearing aids, prove your devotion to hearing health by getting your hearing tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that others do the same.
10. Proudly wear your hearing aids
Finally, you can do your part to get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is prevalent, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.