Dan Carione, a 20-year veteran of the force, lost partial hearing in his right ear in a shootout in 1996, but waited 12 years to get a hearing aid – and was told he would have to retire. He fought to keep the job he loved, and won. He also decided then and there to work to dispel the stigma of hearing aid use. For this and for his hearing health advocacy, Dan was awarded the first-ever Beltone Safe & Sound Award.
Dan continues to patrol the streets, wearing the hearing aid that he says makes him a better officer, father, husband, and friend. The experience of having his hearing restored has made him a passionate advocate for hearing health; he routinely urges those he meets to have their hearing screened.
“Coming forward and saying ‘I can’t hear’ was very scary,” he said of the decision to take action. “But if you’re a firefighter or police officer you’re often in an extremely noisy environment. Hearing is a jewel and if it’s lost, there’s no way you can regain it. Only one in four of the 48 million people with hearing loss do anything about it. However, this is not your grandfather’s hearing aid. These devices are powerful, they’re dependable, they’re user-friendly, and they restore functional hearing.”
Additional Safe and Sound “heroes” who serve others, even with a hearing deficit, will be recognized during May, Better Hearing Month. These everyday community heroes have struggled with their own hearing loss—hearing loss that threatened to irreparably interrupt every facet of their professional and personal lives. But by devoting time and energy into their hearing health, they were able to once again live life to the fullest. These individuals are advocates for hearing loss education and eliminating the stigma of hearing loss.
If you feel that you our a loved one is struggling with hearing loss, schedule an appointment today for a free hearing evaluation.
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