As part of its Listen Carefully campaign, which sends the message ’don’t listen loudly, listen carefully’, Starkey Hearing Foundation is once again teaming with recording artist Miley Cyrus to encourage teens and young adults to take a “vow to act” to protect their hearing, and spread the word to others to do the same.

In fact, according to a Starkey Hearing Foundation poll of more than 200 Miley Cyrus Facebook fans, 87 percent vowed to make the commitment to protect their own hearing, with the same percentage saying they would pass the message along to their friends and family.

A committed supporter of Starkey Hearing Foundation, which strives to change the social consciousness of hearing and hearing health care, Cyrus recently hosted a series of questions from the Foundation on her Facebook page as a first step in getting young people to take the Listen Carefully ‘Vow to Act’. The poll received more than 8,400 likes among Cyrus fans and almost 1,180 comments, 211 of which responded to the survey questions posed.

In addition to those who said they would take action to protect their own hearing by lowering the volume on their MP3 players and iPods, 56 percent of respondents reported having experienced some difficulty hearing their teacher during class. This is consistent with reports of rising trends in hearing loss among young people – an issue that Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Listen Carefully campaign is trying to address.

With social media platforms serving as a popular channel for teens and young adults to communicate with one another, it is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways for individuals to take that first step in their vow to act. The first commitment of the vow to act initiative is to spread the message through these platforms, followed by the commitment to keep the conversation active by sharing tips on ways to prevent hearing loss among family and friends. Some tips from Starkey Hearing Foundation that can easily be shared on Facebook and Twitter include:

  • Lowering the volume on your MP3 player, iPod or cell phone
  • Using background noise-canceling headphones when listening to music
  • Getting your hearing checked on a regular basis
  • Wearing the proper ear protection gear if you’ll be in an environment where loud sounds are customary, i.e. construction work, cutting the lawn, going to a concert
  • Encouraging friends and family to also take the vow to act to protect their hearing

To keep the momentum going, Twitter users can use #ListenCarefully to hear what people are saying about hearing loss prevention, join the conversation, and learn what actions others are taking to protect their hearing.

“We want to start a widespread conversation about hearing loss prevention and protection while giving young people easy, actionable ways to take care of their hearing – that is the goal behind the Listen Carefully Vow to Act,” said Bill Austin, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation. “By using today’s social media platforms like Miley Cyrus has done, we hope others will rally their fans and friends in the same way, because the time to get the message out to start listening carefully is now.”

“I’m thrilled to support Starkey Hearing Foundation and its Listen Carefully Vow to Act initiative and I want all of my fans to help get the conversation started about hearing loss and encourage others to take care of their hearing,” said Cyrus. “Our ability to hear is fragile and we have to take care of it daily so that we can enjoy and appreciate music and the sounds that surround us each and every day.”

Miley Cyrus first became involved with Starkey Hearing Foundation when she joined a hearing mission to Haiti earlier this year where she helped distribute hearing aids to those in need. Since that first trip, Miley has remained committed to the Foundation’s mission by being featured in a PSA campaign for the launch of its Listen Carefully campaign; appearing and performing at the So The World May Hear 11th Annual Gala in July; and participating in a second mission trip to Haiti this month. Cyrus also supports Starkey Hearing Foundation through her online network, Get Ur Good On, which offers youths a forum to support each other on their missions to do good acts. To view video highlights from Miley’s visit to Haiti earlier this year, click here.

For additional tips on hearing loss prevention, an online hearing test, and additional information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org. To join Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Vow to Act initiative on social media platforms, become a fan on Facebook, or follower on Twitter.

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