If you presently use hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the United States, 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 merely 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 wear hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to elevate awareness about the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they provide?
The following are 10 ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Discuss hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy and effective way to spread the message regarding the benefits of healthier hearing. Tell people about how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally enhanced your life or the life of someone you know.
Although people are in general 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 plan your own to raise awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Contact 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 more recent model, think about donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be reconditioned and provided to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These establishments use the donations to fund research, to provide education and support, and to supply financial help to those who can’t afford hearing aids or cochlear implants.
5. Start a petition
Most states do not require health insurance plans to cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to introduce to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a vital element of overall health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Plenty of people accept as true the misconception that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have a problem to begin with.
Help people to accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological innovations in hearing aids can help them recover their hearing. Help guide them through the process of finding a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adjusting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems deliver sound directly from the sound source to the individual’s hearing aids. These can be found in churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, and universities.
Advocate for the addition of hearing loop systems in the most popular community locations.
8. Wear hearing protection
Among the best ways to advocate for hearing health is by becoming a hearing health role model. That means safeguarding your hearing at very loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing evaluated
If you don’t currently use hearing aids, prove your dedication to hearing health by having your hearing professionally tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that other people do the same.
10. Proudly wear your hearing aids
Finally, you can do your part to end the stigma of hearing loss by wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is widespread, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as normal and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.