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If you presently use hearing aids, you’ve already beat the odds.

In the United States, about 48 million individuals have hearing loss, of which 28.8 million could benefit from utilizing 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 missing out on the advantages of improved hearing—advantages you understand first-hand if you wear hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.

So what can you do to elevate awareness about the positive effects of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they supply?

Below are 10 ways to become an advocate for hearing health.

1. Talk about hearing loss on social media

Social media is an easy and efficient 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 generally skeptical of advertising, they’ll 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 increase awareness or funds for hearing loss.

Contact 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 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 supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise afford them.

4. Contribute to hearing health organizations

Consider donating 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 organization.

These institutions use the contributions to fund 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 help cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to deliver to your elected representatives, asking them to recognize hearing health as a critical aspect 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 a problem to begin with.

Help people to recognize and accept their hearing loss and understand that the technical 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 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 introduction 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 protecting your hearing at very loud venues, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.

9. Get your hearing evaluated

If you don’t already use hearing aids, illustrate 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. Proudly wear your hearing aids

Finally, you can do your part to get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by proudly wearing your hearing aids. Hearing loss is very common, much like vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as normal and accepted as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.

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