In honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM), Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH), Sydney, Australia, a leader in implantable hearing solutions, launches its annual Million Ear Challenge, an initiative to bring hearing loss awareness to more than 2 million people during the month of May, Cochlear announced.

People can get involved in the Million Ear Challenge by sharing on their social channels what they would miss if they woke up in a world without sound, using the hashtag #MillionEar.

“With hearing loss becoming more common as younger people lose hearing due to noise exposure and as baby boomers age, efforts like our #MillionEar Challenge are even more important to raising awareness,” said Tony Manna, president, Cochlear Americas. “Our goal is to help change the lives of those who may be struggling with hearing loss, including those reluctant to take the first step by having their hearing tested, and to educate those who aren’t aware of available solutions like hearing implants.”

When the goal of reaching 2 million people in 31 days is achieved, Cochlear will celebrate by donating to Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) and the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF) to help support people with hearing loss.

“I’ve woken up in a world without sound, my sister lost her hearing as an adult, and my daughter was born deaf, so I know firsthand the hardships the hearing-impaired face,” said Michelle Tjelmeland, founder, CIAF. “This is why I created CIAF, to provide those in need the help that my family was fortunate to receive. If we are able to reach 2 million people through the #MillionEar Challenge, then so many more people can be helped.”

“We know millions of people live in isolation due to the impacts of hearing loss, isolation that separates them from their families, affects their work, and limits their quality of life,” said Steven Murphy, executive director, HCOA. “In a majority of cases, technology can solve this problem. The support from Cochlear’s #MillionEar Challenge will help Hearing Charities increase the number of people who receive life-changing hearing assistive devices.”

On June 1, 2017, Cochlear will share information about the charitable donation on its social channels.

The impact of hearing loss is a growing issue that affects almost 50 million Americans.1 While often undetected or neglected, hearing loss can become a social and emotional barrier for the individuals suffering from it or the families of those it affects. Cochlear encourages as many people as possible to get involved in the #MillionEar Challenge and inspire others to help change the lives of those who may be struggling.

Additional activities to spread the word can be found here.

1 Preventing Hearing Loss. Hearing Health Foundation Web site. Published 2016. Accessed March 6, 2017.

Source: Cochlear Limited, Hearing Health Foundation