ASHA, HLAA Urge Ear and Hearing Care for People of All Ages This World Hearing Day

March 3 Marks International Day of Awareness

March 1, 2023

(Rockville, MD) With an estimated 48 million people living in the United States experiencing some degree of hearing loss, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) are joining forces this World Hearing Day to encourage the public to take action on their hearing health.

Recognized every March 3, World Hearing Day is a global day of awareness coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

World Hearing Day is a great time to remind people that hearing is an important part of overall health and wellness, and needs your attention,” said Barbara Kelley, executive director of HLAA. She adds, “Just like blood pressure, weight, and other health markers, hearing should be checked regularly, treated if necessary, and protected from damage. Whether or not you have a hearing loss, you should wear protection in noisy environments, and limit the volume and time when using earbuds or headphones.”

“Despite being so common, hearing loss is often misunderstood,” said Robert Augustine, PhD, CCC-SLP, 2023 president of ASHA. “People may feel like they’re getting by with their hearing loss, or that having it is a natural part of aging that isn’t impacting their daily lives. However, often the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Left unaddressed, hearing loss can have a profound negative effect on a person’s quality of life.”

Augustine notes that inaction on hearing loss that is causing challenges is particularly unfortunate because many opportunities for help are available. “We want people to realize there are many ways to address hearing loss that are worth exploring. Certified audiologists, highly educated and trained professionals in ear and hearing care, can help them with that.”

The 2023 World Hearing Day theme is “Ear and hearing care for all!” With that in mind, ASHA and HLAA encourage the following steps:

  • Protect yourself from excessive noise. Exposure to loud noise is among the most common causes of hearing loss. Unlike many other forms of hearing loss, noise-induced hearing loss is preventable with some simple steps. They include wearing hearing protection (well-fitting earmuffs for young children and earplugs for older children and adults) when you’re in noisy environments such as entertainment venues, sports arenas, or fireworks displays. Also, use hearing protection if you have noisy hobbies such as woodworking or playing an instrument, or if you are routinely exposed to loud noise in your job. Another important step is to take listening breaks. Leave noisy areas at least once per hour to give your ears a rest, and be mindful of the volume on your personal technology devices such as smartphones and tablets. This is especially important when you use earbuds and headphones. Keep the device volume to half or less.
  • Learn the signs of hearing loss. Signs include ringing, buzzing, or pain in the ear; having difficulty following a conversation when more than one person is talking; having trouble hearing in noisy places like a restaurant or on the phone; and frequently perceiving that sounds seem muffled or people seem to be mumbling. In children, signs of hearing loss can also include pulling or tugging at their ears, displaying delays in speech and language development, or seeming unhappy or socially isolated. Learn more at
  • Take action on hearing loss. Many people wait years or even decades to get help for their hearing loss. But ignoring hearing loss can have substantial consequences. These consequences include negative impacts on academic and career success, social relationships, physical safety (e.g., increasing the risk of falls and/or not heeding warning signals such as smoke alarms), and even cognition as one ages (including earlier onset of dementia). If you notice any signs of hearing loss, seek an evaluation from a certified audiologist (find one at After sharing the results of your evaluation, the audiologist can discuss appropriate options with you.

For more information about hearing loss, visit and

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 228,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) identify, assess, and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders.

About the Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the leading voice representing the growing number of people with hearing loss in the U.S. We advocate to increase access to care and treatment, break down stigmas through education and awareness, and empower people with hearing loss through a nationwide network of support. Our work impacts millions, improving the lives of people with hearing loss, and elevating the importance of hearing health, through national legislation, and a network of Chapters and state organizations across the country. Our Walk4Hearing events raise awareness and funds in cities across the country and bring hope to families dealing with hearing loss.

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