An annual event that has taken place in the US every May since 1927, “May is Better Hearing and Speech Month” was started to raise public awareness, knowledge and understanding of various forms of communication impairments including hearing and speech.
Hearing loss is one of the world’s most spread epidemics, affecting more than 360 million people, in all stages of their lives. A staggering 32 million of these are children, and in about 60% of these cases, hearing loss is preventable. However, hearing impairment remains widely unaddressed, either due to embarrassment or lack of awareness.
Therefore, educating people on the matter and understanding the need for action is extremely important in order to not only prevent, but treat, a disability that can have negative effects on those affected and the ones around them. Hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation, reduced job performance, and impaired memory, among a wide array of effects.
With hearing loss becoming more common as younger people lose hearing due to noise exposure and baby boomers age, Better Hearing and Speech Month has become even more important as a means of reaching those reluctant to have their hearing tested.
The Million Ear Challenge
Every May, Cochlear, volunteers, and clinic partners join the nationwide awareness program to help spread the word about hearing loss and hearing loss solutions through the Million Ear Challenge, a social media event that aims at reaching two million people in 31 days. The Million Ear Challenge informs the public about hearing loss and encourages people to engage in this joint effort to support the Better Hearing and Speech Month.
When two million people are reached, Cochlear will make a donation to Hearing Charities of America and the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation to help support people with hearing loss.
Want to join the Million Ear Challenge? Find out how you can get involved.