If you presently use hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the US, roughly 48 million people 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 missing out on the benefits 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 improvements to the quality of life they produce?
Below are ten ways to become a hearing health advocate.
1. Discuss hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy and efficient way to spread the message about the benefits of healthier hearing. Let people know how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally enhanced your life or the life of someone you know.
While 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 event like the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk4Hearing event, or host your own to boost awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Get in contact with your local hearing loss chapter and discover ways you can help out 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 ready to upgrade your hearing aids to a newer model, consider donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be renovated and supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These institutions use the donations to finance research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial assistance to those who can’t pay for hearing aids or cochlear implants.
5. Start a petition
Most states do not mandate 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 general health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Plenty of people believe 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 accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological advancements in hearing aids can help them get back their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of finding a hearing care provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems send sound directly from the sound source to the individual’s hearing aids. These are found in churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, and universities.
Advocate for the introduction of hearing loop systems in the most widely used 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 venues, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with customized hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing tested
If you don’t currently wear hearing aids, express your dedication 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
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 very common, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as common and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.