If you presently wear hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the United States, about 48 million people have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from the use of 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 healthier hearing—advantages you understand first-hand if you use hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to elevate awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the improvements to the quality of life they supply?
Here are 10 ways to become a hearing health advocate.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is a simple and effective way to spread the message about the positive effects of healthier hearing. Tell people about how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally improved your life or the life of someone you know.
While people are in general 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 plan your own to raise awareness or funds 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 prepared to upgrade your hearing aids to a newer model, think about 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
These establishments use the contributions to fund research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial assistance to those who can’t afford hearing aids or cochlear implants.
5. Start a petition
Most states do not mandate health insurance plans to help cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to submit to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a vital element of total health.
6. Help someone with hearing loss
Plenty of people accept as true the myth 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 technical innovations 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 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 addition of hearing loop systems in the most popular community venues.
8. Wear hearing protection
One of the best ways to advocate for hearing health is by being a hearing health role model. That means protecting your hearing at loud settings, like at live shows or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing tested
If you don’t currently wear hearing aids, express your devotion to hearing health by having 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 proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is prevalent, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.