If you currently wear hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.
In the US, approximately 48 million individuals have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from using 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 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 raise awareness about the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they provide?
Below are 10 ways to become an advocate for hearing health.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is a simple and efficient way to spread the message regarding the benefits of healthier hearing. Tell people about how hearing aids work, and how they’ve personally enhanced your life or the life of someone you know.
Although people are typically 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 organize your own to raise awareness or funds for hearing loss.
Contact your local hearing loss chapter and find 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 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 refurbished and provided to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for them.
4. Contribute to hearing health organizations
Consider contributing to an organization that supports the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, such as the Hearing Health Foundation, Hearing Charities of America, or a local group.
These organizations use the contributions to finance research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial assistance to those who can’t pay for hearing aids or cochlear implants.
5. Start a petition
Most states do not mandate health insurance plans to cover the cost of hearing aids. Start a petition to submit to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral component of overall health.
6. Help someone with 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 technical advancements in hearing aids can help them regain their hearing. Help guide them through the process of finding a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems supply sound straight from the source to the individual’s hearing aids. These can be found in movie theaters, churches, universities, and auditoriums.
Advocate for the addition of hearing loop systems in the most widely used community venues.
8. Wear 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 very loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom hearing protection.
9. Get your hearing evaluated
If you don’t already wear hearing aids, illustrate your dedication to hearing health by getting your hearing professionally tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that others 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 widespread, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.