If you presently use hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the US, approximately 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 millions of Americans that are missing out on the benefits 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 raise awareness about the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they produce?
Here are ten ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy and efficient way to spread the message about the positive effects of better 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 normally 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 organize your own to boost awareness or money for hearing loss.
Get in contact with 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 set to upgrade your hearing aids to a more recent model, look into 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 donations to fund research, to provide 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 mandate health insurance plans to help cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to introduce to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral part of overall health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Many 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 recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical advances in hearing aids can help them recover their hearing. Help guide them through the process of finding a provider, getting a hearing test, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems supply 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 protecting your hearing at very loud settings, like at live shows or sporting events, with customized hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing evaluated
If you don’t already wear hearing aids, demonstrate your devotion to hearing health by getting 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 get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is widespread, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as natural and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.