Forty-eight million Americans have hearing loss, making it one of the most common chronic health conditions. Globally, one in four people will have hearing loss by 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Yet most will let hearing difficulties lag for years if not decades, unaware of the serious toll this inaction can take on their overall health, physical safety, and quality of life.
The statistics above are of great concern by expert professionals in the hearing field. Education, employment, and personal relationships can all be significantly impacted by hearing difficulties. In addition, increasingly, studies have tied untreated hearing loss to cognitive decline and dementia, depression and social isolation, and even earlier death among adults.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recently polled nearly 2,500 adults about their hearing health. Some results were promising—a significant number of people polled said hearing health was important to their quality of life.
Yet, for those who reported having trouble, the biggest barrier to their accessing help is their denial of the seriousness involved and inaction toward receiving care. Too many indicated they were content to get by with some degree of hearing loss, and too many others said they would only seek help if their hearing problems became “severe”—and possibly more difficult and more expensive to treat.
The National Association for Hearing and Speech Action (NAHSA), the consumer affiliate of ASHA, is dedicated to educating the public about their hearing health among other aspects of human communication. Fittingly, NAHSA is sharing this message this March for World Hearing Day (March 3) and May (National Speech-Language-Hearing Month) to promote its Act Now on Hearing PSA campaign.
In a birthday celebration setting that people can easily identify with, the animated PSA conveys in a creative, succinct, and encouraging way the importance of acting on one’s hearing health before it is too late. The PSA is available in English and Spanish.
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