As many of you know, in 2011 I suffered sudden unexplained hearing loss in both ears, aka Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Needless to say, it was and is a terrifying time for me, and one no one could/can explain - it just happens I'm told by doctors. I've been to see the best (short of John's Hopkins), been tested, had MRI's and Ultrasounds, and given steroid injections directly into the ear. This past year, I finally broke down and purchased hearing aids (a cost no one should have to bear), which have thankfully improved not only my hearing, but my place in society. As I continue on my journey into the unknown - if I will continue to lose hearing - I would greatly appreciate if you could contribute to this walk, and to an organization who is dedicated to finding a cure!
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Walk4Hearing increases awareness about hearing loss, helps to eradicate the stigma associated with it, and raises funds to provide information and support for people with hearing loss. Since 2006, the Walk4Hearing has raised more than $12 million and has become the largest walk for hearing loss taking place in cities across the United States.
We walk because hearing loss is a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
- Approximately 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss
- More than 30 million Americans are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in their workplaces
- An estimated 1 in 5 American teens experiences some degree of hearing loss
- 2.3 million Veterans receive either disability compensation for service-connected hearing disabilities or are in treatment for related hearing issues
Hearing loss affects one's ability to communicate every day in different situations - from talking with a loved one in your own home, a dinner conversation at a noisy restaurant, on the phone, to not hearing alarm clocks and smoke alarms. I know for me, I cannot hear the coffee pot buzzer or the burglar alarm being turned on/off both of which are right outside my bedroom door. Yes, that's how bad it is for me - about a 40% (or more) loss of hearing in both ears! I can only pray that I do not go permanently deaf!!
For people with hearing loss, these situations can be become obstacles without the right information and support. HLAA provides the assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
For more information about HLAA, please visit www.hearingloss.org.