This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the #ListenHear public initiative by EPIC Hearing Healthcare via Sverve and Havas Public Relations. All opinions stated are my own.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live in silence? To lose your hearing? It is something that I worry about every time I walk by my boys with their ear buds in and the music so loud that I can hear it as though it were coming through the speaker. Every word, every beat. Just the other day, my teenager took off out the front door on his skateboard, and I ran after him (he had forgotten his phone) and I was literally SCREAMING his name – and he didn’t hear me. The only reason he stopped is because he hit a rock and did a tuck and roll across the parking lot. When he looked up, I was standing there, out of breath, and anger all over my face. He couldn’t hear me because his music was entirely too loud.
Imagine what life would be like to never hear your children laugh. To hear their giggles or the excitement in their voice. Imagine if you could not communicate with your child verbally because of hearing loss – for you or them.
The CDC’s Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) from 1988-1994 showed that 14.9% of children ages 6 to 19 years of age had a low-frequency or high-frequency hearing loss of at least 16-decibels in one or both ears. (source)
We take our hearing for granted and don’t realize how utterly valuable this sense is to us. The older I have become, the worse my hearing has gotten. There are days when my right ear is completely deaf – I cannot hear a thing with that ear. I know what causes mine, but what if you didn’t know what it was? How would you react? Your first instinct would be to see a doctor.
Did you know that a hearing aid can range in cost from $1,500 to $5,000? How would your family cover this cost? With your health insurance?
Do you know that not all medical insurance policies include hearing insurance? My insurance company (like most) does not cover hearing aids and accessories, or hearing screenings for that matter, for members 21 years of age or older.
#ListenHear is a public education initiative from EPIC Hearing Healthcare. They are the largest provider of hearing insurance nationwide. They offer plans between 35¢ to $1.75 per member per month showing that hearing insurance is one of the most affordable benefits available.
Check with your benefits professional in HR to see if you have medical or supplemental insurance that covers visits to an audiologist for a complete diagnostic evaluation at least every two years for adults; annually for children, and if they offer coverage of hearing aid treatment. It’s one out-of-pocket cost that can financially break a family, and it doesn’t need to.
If you don’t have hearing insurance – advocate for it! We spend that amount in one day on a cup of coffee, wouldn’t you be willing to do without one cup of coffee a month to hear your children? To hear the quiet babbling of a brook? To hear a baby laugh? To hear your spouse whispering in your ear?
If hearing health is NOT a covered benefit for you, take a stand and request a change. EPIC Hearing Healthcare has created an advocacy flyer that anyone can share to start a conversation with their HR professional. Download it at: http://www.epichearing.com/listenhear/resources/. There are many resources and infographics available to fit every individual’s need.
Don’t allow the stigma of a hearing loss to keep you quiet! Talk to your HR professional about the #ListenHear campaign!