GREENFIELD — To raise awareness of the importance of hearing health during Better Hearing Month, Alber Hearing Services is hosting its second annual essay contest and hearing aid giveaway.
The winner will be chosen in June, according to a press release from Alber Hearing Services, and will receive a free set of hearing aids, worth up to $6,600.
Anyone can nominate themselves, a loved one, or a friend by submitting a one-page typed or handwritten essay explaining why the candidate will benefit from hearing aids. Essays can be dropped off in person, emailed to [email protected], or mailed to Alber Hearing Services, Attn: Lacey, 33 Riddell St., Suite 5, Greenfield, MA 01301.
The deadline for submission of essays is Friday, May 27. The statement explains that all applicants must be able to come to the Alber Hearing Services office in Greenfield for a hearing test in early June to determine their level of hearing loss.
“While some insurance plans offer benefits for hearing aids, the majority do not,” said Dr. Lisa Alber, owner and audiologist at Alber Hearing Services, in the release. “Unfortunately, the cost of hearing aids puts amplification technology out of reach for many people. While the benefits of hearing aids continue to be debated in the political arena, the benefits that improve the lives of those who need them are indisputable. Being able to give someone in our community a pair of free hearing aids is one way to make a big difference in someone’s life.
Nearly 50% of people aged 75 and over have hearing loss, but it often goes untreated. According to the statement, untreated hearing problems increase the risk of other serious health conditions, such as dementia. When the auditory part of the brain is less active, neurological function decreases. Over time, this eventually leads to cognitive impairment.
However, hearing problems in most people can be improved without drugs, surgery or downtime, the statement said. People who are hearing aid candidates may be fitted with small amplification devices behind the ear.
“People don’t realize how much their whole world opens up when they start hearing again,” Alber explained in the statement. “Time and time again, our patients tell us that hearing aids are life changing. Hearing aids offer many benefits in addition to better hearing – they also help people regain their independence, strengthen their social connections and even improve their cognitive functions. I encourage as many people as possible to enter our essay contest and give hearing loss the attention it deserves. We hope this giveaway will spark conversations about hearing health and why it’s so important to take these issues seriously.
For more information, visit alberhearing.com/essay.