Groups Urge Hearing Check New Year's Resolutions

"Hearing Great in 2008!" is the name of a new initiative from the American Academy of Audiology and American Academy of Audiology Foundation that asks consumers to make a New Year's resolution to visit an audiologist for a hearing check-up. Hearing loss is the third-most-common health problem in the United States, affecting more than 31 million Americans, and most people wait 7-10 years before seeking help for hearing-related issues, the academy says.

The campaign's family-focused TV spots started in national media markets this month and will continue in January. Energizer Battery, Inc. is underwriting the campaign.

The two organizations say hearing-related issues may be noticed during holiday celebrations with friends and family who ask you to repeat what you have said, constantly turn up the volume of TV or radio, have difficulty hearing on the telephone, and describe voices as muffled and unclear. "Hearing problems can be more than frustrating; they can actually be dangerous. They make it difficult to understand and follow doctors' advice, respond to warnings, and hear doorbells and alarms. Hearing problems that are ignored or untreated can get worse," said academy member Lisa Nelson, Au.D., of Hearing Professionals, Inc. in Maryland.

The academy has more than 10,000 active member audiologists. For information, visit www.audiology.org and www.audiologyfoundation.org/.

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