If you presently wear hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the US, 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 only 16 percent.
That’s literally millions of Americans that are missing out on the advantages 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. Discuss hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy 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 improved 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 activity like the Hearing Loss Association of America’s Walk4Hearing event, or host your own to increase awareness or money for hearing loss.
Get in touch 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 newer model, consider donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be refurbished and provided to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These organizations use the donations to finance 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 require health insurance plans to help cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to submit to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a vital component of total 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 a problem in the first place.
Help people to accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological advancements in hearing aids can help them regain their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of choosing a hearing care provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting 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 movie theaters, churches, universities, and auditoriums.
Advocate for the inclusion of hearing loop systems in the most widely used community locations.
8. Use 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 loud venues, like at concerts or sporting events, with custom hearing protection.
9. Get 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 other people do the same.
10. Proudly wear your hearing aids
Last, you can do your part to get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is prevalent, just like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.