Empowerment Through Hearing (ETH) is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization that serves to increase awareness of the alarming rise of hearing loss, and educate the public about ways to prevent it.
Over 40 million Americans have a significant hearing loss. Yet, 80% of those diagnosed do not seek help. This is due in part to denial, embarrassment or lack of awareness. We donít know what we donít hear.
Kathlyn Maguire founded ETH in 2004 after decades of experiencing a progressive hearing loss.
"My hearing loss was very gradual over the years," Kathlyn says. "I could stay in denial because I heard the sound of people talking; but it became increasingly difficult to comprehend the words. So I acquired good lip-reading skills before I knew I needed them. The phone was my biggest challenge."
Until recently, hearing loss has been perceived as an old-age disability. Today, 1 in 5 students has some form of hearing loss, due principally to excessive noise provided by modern technology. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is epidemic in 21st century America.
At ETH, our mission is to position hearing loss as the common and preventable condition it has proved to be. We believe itís possible to educate young people and people of all ages to be smart about noise. And to be aware of other causes of hearing loss: aspirin, certain medicines, pain relievers, quinine, anti-immune diseases, a simple blow to the head, and genetics.
Awareness of these causes does much to help people adopt preventive measures against hearing loss: (1) Turn down the sound (2) walk away from loud noise (3) use noise-reduction ear plugs found at local drug stores. Be sure to check with a doctor about the toxicity of your prescribed drugs and check on the web for a list of ototoxic medicines. Youíll be surprised at how many names will have a familiar ring.
Our hearing is precious, and, just like eyesight, it deserves all we can do to keep it healthy.
For more information, we hope you will visit our other pages on this site, as well as the links weíve provided to important hearing health organizations throughout the U.S.