If you presently use 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 utilizing 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 merely 16 percent.
That’s literally millions of Americans that are losing out on the benefits of better hearing—advantages you understand first-hand if you use 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 enhancements to the quality of life they produce?
The following are 10 ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is a simple and effective 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.
Although people are typically 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 organize your own to increase awareness or money for hearing loss.
Talk to your local hearing loss chapter and discover ways you can assist in the community. Visit 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, think about donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be restored and supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These institutions use the contributions to fund research, to deliver education and support, and to offer financial assistance 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 expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to deliver to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a vital component of overall health.
6. Help someone with hearing loss
Many people accept as true the misconception that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have hearing loss to begin with.
Help people to recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical advances 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 adjusting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems supply sound straight 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 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 protecting your hearing at loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with customized hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing tested
If you don’t already use hearing aids, illustrate your commitment to hearing health by having your hearing professionally tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that others do the same.
10. Wear your hearing aids with pride
Last, you can do your part to get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is very common, just like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.