If you presently wear hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the United States, about 48 million people have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from using hearing aids.
Unfortunately, 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 millions of Americans that are missing out on the advantages 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 promote awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the improvements to the quality of life they supply?
Below are ten ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Discuss hearing loss on social media
Social media is a simple and effective way to spread the message regarding the benefits of better hearing. Let people know how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally improved your life or the life of someone you know.
While people are generally skeptical of advertising, they’ll almost 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 boost awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Get in touch with your local hearing loss chapter and find ways you can assist in the community. Check out the Hearing Loss Association of America to find a local chapter.
3. Donate your old hearing aids
If you’re prepared to upgrade your hearing aids to a more recent model, consider 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 afford them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
Consider donating to an organization that supports the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, such as the Hearing Health Foundation, Hearing Charities of America, or a local institution.
These establishments use the contributions to finance 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 require health insurance plans to help cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to present to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral 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 recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological advancements in hearing aids can help them regain their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of choosing a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems deliver sound straight from the source to the individual’s hearing aids. These can be found in churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, and universities.
Advocate for the inclusion of hearing loop systems in the most popular community venues.
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 concerts or sporting events, with custom hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing evaluated
If you don’t already use hearing aids, illustrate your devotion to hearing health by getting your hearing tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that other people do the same.
10. Proudly wear your hearing aids
Last, you can do your part to end the stigma of hearing loss by wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is very common, similar to vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as common and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.