If you already use hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the United States, roughly 48 million individuals have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from using 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 literally millions of Americans that are missing out on the advantages of healthier hearing—benefits you understand first-hand if you use hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to enhance awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they provide?
Below are ten 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 regarding 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.
Although people are normally skeptical of advertising, they’ll almost 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 arrange your own to raise awareness or money for hearing loss.
Get in touch with your local hearing loss chapter and find 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 ready 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 renovated and provided to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These organizations use the contributions to fund research, to provide education and support, and to offer financial assistance 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 cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to show to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral aspect of general health.
6. Help someone with hearing loss
Plenty of 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 accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical advancements in hearing aids can help them get back their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of choosing a hearing care provider, getting a hearing test, and adjusting 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 inclusion of hearing loop systems in the most widely used community locations.
8. Use hearing protection
One of the most effective ways to advocate for hearing health is by being a hearing health role model. That means protecting your hearing at loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing tested
If you don’t currently use hearing aids, prove your dedication 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 wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is widespread, just like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as common and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.