Healthy Hearing: 2016 Digital Health Awards winner
Working with a high-performance professional team united by the goal to help others live better lives is part of what makes working at Healthy Hearing so rewarding. The icing on the cake: recognition for your efforts.
BRONZE award - Why your morning cup of coffee may be harmful to your hearing
MERIT award - Guide to hearing aids (download)
MERIT award - The Zika virus and hearing loss
"We work every day to combine what we know from the clinical and research backgrounds of our staff with journalistic and educational goals so we talk about the right things in the right way to get the best information to as many people as possible," says Paul Dybala, Ph.D., President of Healthy Hearing. "We have now grown to over 2.1 million visitors a year. The Digital Health Awards helps to underscore the trust our readership puts in the information we publish on our site."
Our take on the news
In August 2016, Debbie Clason, staff writer for Healthy Hearing, wrote the award-winning article about a recent study showing the deleterious effect of caffeine on the ears' ability to recover from excessive noise exposure and how that impacts hearing. Dybala says, "It is important that our readers understand the scientific research that is going on around hearing loss prevention." With coffee being such a popular beverage that helps wake many Americans up each and every day, the article captured significant attention on social media.
One thing many people may not realize is that noise-induced hearing loss is completely preventable. "This article opens up the opportunity to talk about that fact," comments Dybala.
The article goes on to reassure coffee drinkers that they don't necessarily have to give up their morning caffeine entirely. Instead, it offers advice about being mindful of noise exposure and specific times when it is advisable to avoid caffeine until hearing recovers after a noisy event.
The article about the Zika virus and its effects on infants' hearing, written by Healthy Hearing staff writer Lisa Packer, also grabbed attention on social media since the virus was dominating the news headlines all summer. Dybala said, "While Zika was not a common issue in the U.S., it is usually forgotten that hearing loss is very often comorbid with other health issues."
The article helped shed light on how pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant could minimize their exposure to this dangerous virus and ward off potential hearing loss in their newborns.
Informed patients have better results with hearing aids.
Paul Dybala is especially proud of the merit award for Healthy Hearing's free downloadable "Guide to hearing aids." From his clinical experience working with people with hearing loss, he remembers that better-educated patients always enjoyed better results with hearing aids. He says, "The first thing I tried to do is to educate my patients when they came into my clinic. In getting this information out to our visitors, we hope consumers have a better experience as a part of their journey to better hearing. This award confirms we are on the right track."
About the awards
While there is no shortage of hearing loss information online, Healthy Hearing is the only site of its kind to win the Digital Health Awards. The organization is in good company alongside other prestigious award-winning websites from United Healthcare, Johns Hopkins, CVS Health and Mayo Clinic.
An expert panel of health technology professionals reviews all Digital Health Awards entries and, on a scale of one to 100, rates them on content, format, overall quality and degree of success in reaching the targeted audience. The Digital Health Awards is organized by Health Information Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for professionals who work in consumer fields. These organizations are independent and not affiliated with any of the competition's entrants.