On November 20, 2016, former NFL players gathered at the Meridian Neighborhood Health Center in Parker, Colorado, for a health assessment event sponsored by the Living Heart Foundation. There, these players received screenings, hearing aid fittings, and hearing health education from EarQ representatives. Events like these are one of the many ways EarQ and the NFLPA are addressing the high incidence of hearing loss in professional athletes.
For more than five years, the partnership has been working together to tackle this issue. Their efforts include hosting and attending events around the country to connect with former players, screen them for hearing loss, and fit them with the appropriate hearing technology, if necessary. In addition to those efforts, EarQ and the NFLPA have also been spearheading a research study on the correlation between hearing loss and professional playing careers.
With 1,400 independent provider locations across the country, EarQ has a network of skilled hearing healthcare professionals—many of whom have been active in EarQ’s work with the NFLPA. At the event in Colorado, these individuals provided quality hearing healthcare services and education as well as collected data for the exclusive research program, bringing EarQ and the NFLPA one step closer to identifying what preventative measures can be taken for the next generation of athletes.
According to Ed Keller, President of EarQ, these efforts are all part of a bigger picture to spark a nationwide hearing loss awareness movement.
“38 million Americans are living with untreated hearing loss and it is estimated that 643,000 of these individuals are Colorado residents,” says Keller. “By priming former Denver-area professional football players to be advocates, we are making an investment in the hearing health of both former players and their fans.”