You go to a party and the noise is so loud that you can’t hear half of what’s being said.
This is typical for most people. It’s even worse for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Social situations can turn into nightmares.
Most of us don’t like nightmares. We avoid them, don’t we?
Now hear this. (Oh yes, funny pun intended. Life is too short to be serious all the time.) Fifteen to 17 percent of the population around the world has some loss of hearing.
Fifteen to 17 percent.
That’s a lotta people. About 36 million or so.
That’s a lot of people avoiding social nightmares. The problem is, we tend to bury the “hearing loss problem” under the rug. It’s hard to find public awareness campaigns that address the social and emotional aspects of being deaf or hard of hearing. No one is running out to get the latest hearing aids the way they might rack up 20 different pairs of fashionable glasses. I’m on a mission to change that–and to get people comfortable with being deaf or hard of hearing. I hope hearing aids will soon be accepted as fashionable as eyeglasses.
As we add more and more candles to our birthday cakes, our senses can experience some decline. According to NIH Senior Health, the breakdown is like this:
- 18 percent of American adults are 45-64 years old
- 30 percent of adults are 65-74 years old
- 47 percent of adults are 75 years old, or older
And here’s another statistic; according to Hear the World, 665,000 deaf and hard of hearing children are born every year.
Now, I’m partial to the Hear the World Foundation because I wear Phonak hearing aids and the company has been a wonderful supporter of my barefoot water skiing activities over the years. I love Hear the World’s work in creating awareness and encouraging people to embrace the journey of being deaf/hard of hearing. The Hear the World Foundation is a Swiss non-profit focused on providing support for people in developing countries or low income regions who don’t have access to hearing care or hearing aids. They’ve supported over 60 projects across all 5 continents since 2006. In particular, the projects support deaf and hard of hearing children by giving grants to groups looking to run hearing healthcare programs globally. These programs, which vary in length and broad objectives, ultimately enable children to hear to the best of their ability.
Hear the World has created a 2016 calendar featuring Tina Turner, Rosamund Pike, Naomi Harris, Lea Seydoux, Rufus Sewell, Anastacia and others. This project is spearheaded by legendary Canadian singer and photography enthusiast Bryan Adams to raise funds that put these global hearing health programs into action.
The limited edition calendar is available at www.hear-the-world.com.