If you currently use hearing aids, you’ve already overcome the odds.
In the United States, about 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 merely 16 percent.
That’s millions of Americans that are losing out on the rewards of healthier hearing—benefits you understand first-hand if you wear hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.
So what can you do to boost awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the improvements to the quality of life they provide?
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 benefits of better 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 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 prepared to upgrade your hearing aids to a more recent model, consider donating your old hearing aids to a local organization or hearing clinic.
Your donated hearing aids can be renovated and supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
These establishments use the contributions to fund research, to provide 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 mandate health insurance plans to help cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to introduce to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a crucial part of overall health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Many people believe the myth 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 advances in hearing aids can help them regain their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of finding a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems send sound straight from the source to the individual’s hearing aids. These are found in churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, and universities.
Advocate for the addition of hearing loop systems in the most widely used community venues.
8. Use hearing protection
One of the best ways to advocate for hearing health is by being a hearing health role model. That means safeguarding your hearing at very loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with customized hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing tested
If you don’t currently use hearing aids, demonstrate your dedication to hearing health by having 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 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 normal and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.