If you already wear 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.
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 better hearing—benefits you understand first-hand if you wear 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 improvements to the quality of life they supply?
Below are 10 ways to become a hearing health advocate.
1. Talk about hearing loss on social media
Social media is an easy and efficient way to spread the message about the positive effects 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 normally skeptical of advertising, they’ll almost 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 arrange your own to increase awareness or money for hearing loss.
Contact 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 more recent model, look into 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 institutions use the contributions to finance research, to provide education and support, and to offer 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 cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to present to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral aspect of overall health.
6. Help someone overcome hearing loss
Plenty of people believe the misconception that hearing aids don’t work, or they may even be denying they have hearing loss to begin with.
Help people to recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical innovations in hearing aids can help them reclaim their hearing. Help guide them through the steps of choosing a provider, getting their hearing tested, and adapting to their hearing aids.
7. Advocate for the community
Hearing loop systems send sound directly from the source to the individual’s hearing aids. These are 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 loud venues, like at concerts or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.
9. Have your hearing tested
If you don’t currently use hearing aids, prove your devotion to hearing health by having your hearing professionally tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that other people do the same.
10. Wear your hearing aids with pride
Last, you can do your part to end the stigma of hearing loss by wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is very common, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as typical and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.