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

In the US, around 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 better hearing—benefits you understand first-hand if you use hearing aids yourself or know someone who does.

So what can you do to increase awareness about the benefits of hearing aids and the enhancements to the quality of life they produce?

Here are 10 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 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 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 coordinate your own to boost awareness or money for hearing loss.

Get in touch 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 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 renovated and supplied to those who couldn’t otherwise pay for 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 institution.

These establishments use the donations to finance research, to deliver education and support, and to supply financial assistance to those who can’t afford hearing aids or cochlear implants.

5. Start a petition

Most states do not require health insurance plans to cover the expense of hearing aids. Start a petition to deliver to your elected officials, asking them to recognize hearing health as a integral element of total 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 recognize and 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 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 are found in movie theaters, churches, universities, and auditoriums.

Advocate for the introduction of hearing loop systems in the most popular community locations.

8. Wear hearing protection

One of the most effective ways to advocate for hearing health is by being a hearing health role model. That means protecting your hearing at loud settings, like at rock concerts or sporting events, with custom made hearing protection.

9. Have your hearing evaluated

If you don’t already use hearing aids, display your dedication to hearing health by having your hearing tested. Share the process on social media and suggests that others do the same.

10. Wear your hearing aids with pride

Last, you can do your part to get rid of the stigma of hearing loss by wearing your hearing aids with pride. Hearing loss is common, similar to vision loss, and wearing hearing aids should be as normal and acceptable as wearing a pair of prescription glasses.

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