Today, approximately 48 million Americans have some level of hearing loss. A full 50% of the population will have hearing loss by the age of 75. Fortunately, about 95% of them can benefit from the use of hearing aids.

With this condition so widespread––affecting someone in virtually every family––one way to show your loved ones that you care is to give the gift of hearing during this holiday season when they could really use it.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss. Noise can either cause permanent hearing loss right away or gradually, depending on its volume and the level of exposure.

Generally speaking, any noise under 70 decibels, similar to a passenger car at 65 mph, is considered safe, while noise between 70 and 120 decibels, from a garbage disposal to a chain saw, can damage your hearing over time. However, noise above 140 decibels, which is the equivalent of standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, can cause immediate damage to a person's hearing.

Of course, depending on where you work, some people are exposed to loud noises more than others. Those who work in construction, in the music industry, in restaurants or bars, in police or fire departments, in the military, or in professions that involve operating loud equipment are very likely to appreciate the gift of hearing for the holidays.

Here are a few ideas for gifts that can make it easier for your loved ones to hear:

A Portable Hearing Screener For Home Use

If anyone in your family or circle of friends is concerned about hearing loss, the perfect holiday gift might be a hearing screener. After all, a hearing evaluation or an audiogram should be the first place to start when you’re trying to determine whether or not hearing loss is an issue for your loved one.

The iHEARtest™, the first and only at-home hearing screener cleared by the FDA, includes a set of calibrated earphones, ear tips in multiple sizes, and the ability to download software. You can use it in the privacy and comfort of your home. It takes just six minutes to complete.

The results can be used to program iHEAR® hearing aid(s) or simply to give someone a better understanding of where they stand when it comes to the hearing loss spectrum––from no impairment (5), to slight (4), moderate (3), severe (2), or profound (1) impairment. These values are called your Hearing Numbers™.

The iHEARtest has a suggested $69 MSRP, and is available at several national drugstore chains, including CVS, Good Neighbor Pharmacy, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy  and Medicap Pharmacy. You can also find the iHEARtest for purchase online.

High Quality Hearing Aids at Prices You Can Afford

Perhaps your loved one is looking for a new hearing aid or wants to upgrade the model they currently have because it’s not working as well as it once did. If your gift-giving budget allows, you might consider giving hearing aids to those you love this year.

iHEAR hearing aids cost just $499 per ear compared to the national average of $2,400 per ear, and are available in two styles, both are behind-the-ear. The hearing aids are designed for mild to moderate or even severe hearing loss and can be customized based on a person's Hearing Number™ (which you can determine by using the iHEARtest™).

Better yet, to help make the cost of the hearing aids even more affordable, monthly payment plans are available, starting at just $42 per month, with 0% financing for up to 12 months.

A Supply of Hearing Aid Batteries and Accessories

Few things in life are more annoying than running out of batteries, especially if those batteries power a device you need to optimize your everyday life. One way to help those you love to hear better this holiday season is to consider the gift of batteries.

Batteries might not seem like the most fun or glamorous present you can give, but believe us, they will be greatly appreciated. Hearing aid batteries typically only last for a week, while iHEAR batteries’ life is 12 days. So you might want to purchase our Power Packs that contain enough batteries for up to 2 months’ use, or buy six Power Packs to give your loved one a year's supply of batteries all at once.

Along with batteries, you could also give your loved on a supply of accessories for their hearing aids. Cleaning wipes, comfort tips, and a storage case might all be appreciated.

To make the gift more festive, you can bundle the batteries and accessories together as a very thoughtful stocking stuffer.

So instead of giving someone a gift they’ll use once and forget, giving the gift of hearing during the holidays is one way to let your family and friends hear you say, "I Love You," every single day.

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