Each year we learn more about the staggering statistics surrounding hearing loss and how it affects nearly 37.5 million Americans. That’s why in 2008, the American Academy of Audiology declared October National Audiology Awareness Month and National Protect Your Hearing Month.
Hearing loss is the third most common health condition faced by older adults, yet only 20 percent of those with hearing loss actually seek treatment. With 7-10 years being the average time a person with hearing loss waits to seek treatment, hearing can not only worsen but can contribute to a variety of health issues, safety concerns, and psychological problems.
As hearing loss has become an increasing health concern, it’s important we learn how proper education can encourage early prevention and motivate treatment.
So, what can you do on a local level to boost national awareness? Here are some ways you can provide essential information to your patients:
- Organize a free hearing screening and distribute hearing loss information, as well as business information so they can follow-up post-exam.
- Add consumer-friendly fact sheets to your waiting room or at the front desk of your clinic. Download these customizable fact sheets to help continue the conversation with patients about all types of hearing loss.
- Hold an open house at your practice. This provides a great opportunity for you and your staff to get to know your community and allows them to learn more about the services you offer.
- Use resources like Noisy Planet targeted to parents and kids (ages 8-12) with messages about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss, and download newsletters, puzzles, and tests for kids.
October is a great month to get your hearing checked or to encourage a loved one to do so. What are some ways that you and your practice are acknowledging National Audiology Awareness Month? Comment below and let us know!