If you currently wear hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the United States, approximately 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 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 improve awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the improvements to the quality of life they produce?
Below are ten ways to become a hearing health advocate.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy and effective way to spread the message regarding 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 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 host your own to raise awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Get in contact with your local hearing loss chapter and find ways you can help out 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, look into 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 donations to finance research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial help 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 deliver to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a critical component of overall health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Many people accept as true the misconception that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have hearing loss in the first place.
Help people to accept their hearing loss and understand that the technological innovations in hearing aids can help them regain their hearing. Help guide them through the process of choosing a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adjusting 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 can be found in movie theaters, churches, universities, and auditoriums.
Advocate for the introduction of hearing loop systems in the most widely used community locations.
8. Wear hearing protection
One of the most effective ways to advocate for hearing health is by becoming a hearing health role model. That means protecting your hearing at very loud venues, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing tested
If you don’t currently wear hearing aids, illustrate your dedication to hearing health by getting 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 get rid of 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 accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.