If you presently wear hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the United States, about 48 million individuals have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from the use of 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—advantages you understand first-hand if you use hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to improve awareness about the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they produce?
Below 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 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 typically 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 raise awareness or money for hearing loss.
Talk to 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 set to upgrade your hearing aids to a newer model, look into donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be reconditioned and supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These establishments use the contributions to finance research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial help to those who can’t pay for 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 show to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a vital element of general health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Plenty of people believe the misconception that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have hearing loss to begin with.
Help people to accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical advancements in hearing aids can help them recover their hearing. Help guide them through the process 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 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 widely used 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 very loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with customized hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing tested
If you don’t already use hearing aids, display your dedication to hearing health by getting your hearing professionally tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that others do the same.
10. Proudly wear your hearing aids
Last, you can do your part to end the stigma of hearing loss by proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is common, similar to vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.