Star Pat Benatar Urges Baby Boomers to Tune In to Their Hearing
Pat Benatar has been making hit music for decades. Now, the
rock superstar and Grammy winner has new music and a new message
for her peers in the baby boomer generation. Benatar is the
national spokesperson for the Energizer EZ Change "It's
Hip to H.E.A.R." program, a national cause-related initiative
designed to educate baby boomers about the importance of hearing
health awareness, prevention and treatment. The program, which
kicks-off in May during Better Hearing & Speech month,
is being executed in partnership with the non-profit group
Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (H.E.A.R.) and
Energizer EZ Change, the world's first hearing aid battery
While 16 million baby boomers suffer from hearing damage,
a recent national survey revealed that most boomers are not
concerned about hearing loss or seeking treatment. According
to the Energizer survey, only one percent of baby boomers
rank hearing loss as a health concern and almost half (45%)
say they are not at all worried about hearing loss. Nearly
three-quarters (73%) say they have never seen a doctor or
hearing specialist to get their hearing tested. Despite this
lack of concern, the reality is that there are more baby boomers
aged 46-64 with hearing loss than there are people over the
age of 65 with hearing loss i, and there is 26 percent
more hearing loss among baby boomers than in previous generations.
who has taken steps during her career to prevent hearing loss,
wants to raise awareness about the importance of hearing health
education, prevention and treatment. "As a rock musician,
I know firsthand the risks of hearing loss and how it affects
your quality of life," she said. "Many of my friends
have suffered permanent hearing damage, and my husband Neil
and I both take proactive steps to protect our hearing health.
Unfortunately, many of my peers are in denial."
"Baby boomers were the first generation to be raised
on rock and roll, and many continue to enjoy high volume lifestyles,"
said Kathy Peck, executive director and co-founder of H.E.A.R.
"We are excited to team up with Pat Benatar and Energizer
EZ Change because we share the mission to educate people about
the dangers of hearing loss and how to treat it without sacrificing
your quality of life. While a wealth of information on hearing
loss is available, our goal with the 'Hip to H.E.A.R.' program
is to make the message more relevant to baby boomers."
The national education effort includes a free Energizer(
EZ Change( It's Hip to H.E.A.R.( Survival Guide that provides
information on baby boomer lifestyles, hearing loss detection
and treatment options. A key focus of the program is to educate
people about new technologies available to help them manage
their hearing health.
"Baby boomers want the latest and greatest technology
devices to help simplify and improve their lives," said
Benatar. "Many are unaware that there are some really
innovative products available that can help them protect their
hearing and, if they are already dealing with hearing loss,
make the process of managing it much easier. These products
are also important for the baby boomers who are caring for
their parents, many of whom also have hearing loss."
Among the hearing health technologies available is the Energizer
EZ Change, the first hearing aid battery dispenser that allows
hearing aid users to insert their batteries precisely without
having to handle the tiny batteries or tabs. This eliminates
the frustration of dropping, fumbling and losing the small
batteries and makes it possible to change them quickly any
place and any time. For hearing protection, the Bose( QuietComfort(
Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones dramatically reduce ambient
noise on planes, trains, buses and city streets. And, the
"Colors of Clarity" ER-20 High-Fidelity Earplugs,
a one-size, low-cost earplug offering the highest fidelity
available in a non-custom earplug, reduces sound approximately
20 dB at all frequencies.
The Energizer( EZ Change( It's Hip to H.E.A.R.( program will
educate baby boomers and others about the importance of hearing
health by distributing information online, in audiologist
offices, at retail, in the media and through the H.E.A.R.
grass roots network of street teams that travel to concerts
and music events around the country and H.E.A.R. Partner audiologist
and ear doc who support H.E.A.R.'s efforts through H.E.A.R.
Partner hearing referral program. In support of H.E.A.R.'s
efforts, Energizer EZ Change will make a $25,000 monetary
donation to the non-profit organization.
The increase in the number of baby boomers suffering from
hearing impairments is attributed largely to lifestyle factors,
including simple everyday noise. Potential hearing damage
can occur with exposure to any noise above 85 decibels, especially
during frequent or lengthy exposure. This includes city traffic
(85 dB) and hairdryers (90dB), which can cause significant
hearing damage over time. According to the Energizer survey,
most baby boomers (more than 50 percent) were unaware that
these activities could cause harm.
"It is possible to enjoy an active lifestyle and protect
your hearing," said Ernie Petrus, director of sales and
marketing for Energizer Miniature Batteries, U.S. "Although
everyday activities such as listening to the car radio and
using headphones can cause hearing damage, there are many
new technologies available that help lessen the effects of
early hearing loss and also minimize the social stigma of
wearing hearing aids. Getting your hearing tested at the first
sign of hearing problems is crucial because the damaging effects
of hearing loss are cumulative and irreversible."
"I want people to know that early testing and diagnosis
are key," says Benatar. "As a musician, I learned
early in my career the importance of healthy hearing, although
many of my friends didn't realize the damage until it was
too late. By tuning in to your own hearing health and getting
tested, you can lessen or avoid the negative effects of hearing
loss and enjoy the sounds of music and everyday life for years
To order the free Energizer( EZ Change( It's Hip to H.E.A.R.
Survival Guide) and
find out more about the program, visit Energizer
EZ Change It's Hip to H.E.A.R. Campaign. For information
on testing and treatment click H.E.A.R.
A survey of 1,010 baby boomers ages 39-57 was conducted in
the month of October 2003 to find out more about the attitudes,
beliefs and habits of this age group with and without hearing
loss. The 28-question confidential survey was conducted through
computer-aided telephone calls through a random sample of
the population. For more information on survey results, contact
Christine Johnson at 314.552.6747.
i Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.
ii National Center for Health Statistics
Message from Pat Benatar
As the national spokesperson for the Energizer EZ Change
It's Hip to H.E.A.R. program, I am helping to raise awareness
among baby boomers and others about the importance of hearing
health prevention, detection and treatment.
As a rock musician, I know firsthand the risks of hearing
loss. Many of my friends have suffered permanent hearing damage
and my husband Neil and I take proactive steps to protect
our hearing health. I want to encourage others to do the same.
Hearing health is often overlooked or avoided - especially
among baby boomers - even though it's crucial to the enjoyment
and quality of life. A recent Energizer survey revealed that
only one percent of baby boomers rank hearing loss as a health
concern, yet statistics show that there are more baby boomers
with hearing loss than people over the age of 65.
One of the goals of the Energizer EZ Change It's Hip to H.E.A.R.
program is to educate people about new technologies available
to help them manage their hearing health. For example, the
Energizer EZ Change is the first hearing aid battery dispenser
that eliminates the need to handle the tiny hearing aid batteries
and tabs. This makes it much easier to wear a hearing aid
because you don't have the frustration of dropping or losing
the batteries, and you can change them anywhere and anytime.
Other innovative technologies that make it Hip to H.E.A.R.
- Earplugs to prevent hearing damage at concerts or clubs.
- Noise canceling headphones that dramatically reduce ambient
noise from power mowers, drills, and even city traffic.
- In-the-canal digital hearing aids that make it virtually
impossible to tell a person is even wearing the device
To learn more about how to manage your hearing health, people
Energizer It's Hip to H.E.A.R. to request a free Energizer
EZ Change It's Hip to H.E.A.R. Survival Guide. Information
is also being distributed at retail outlets, in audiologists'
offices and through H.E.A.R.'s grass roots network of street
teams who hand out information at concerts and other music
events and H.E.A.R. Partner audiologists and ear doctors.
Click here to view the Survival