As we get older it is perfectly natural for our hearing to gradually start to deteriorate. However, with a bit of tender loving care we can help preserve our hearing for longer.
Imagine if you couldn’t hear your grandchildren’s excited chatter; hear the birds sing in your garden or the sound of a friend’s voice on the telephone. Many people don’t realise how important their hearing is in their everyday lives until they start to lose it and it begins encroaching on their lives. Hearing loss affects 55% of people over 60 but it takes, on average, 10 years for people to take action from when they start to notice a problem.
Neglecting hearing loss can have distressing consequences and heavily impact on an individual’s quality of life. It can lead to feelings of frustration, loneliness, poor health and social isolation. According to research by Brigham University in the United States, people who fail to socialise risk being as unhealthy as a person who smokes 15 cigarettes a day!
Obviously, struggling to hear conversation is a major indication that your hearing is fading. However, there are other signs, such as:
1. Turning the volume of your television or radio up with others thinking it is too high.
2. You find it tiring to listen to conversations because you have to concentrate hard.
3. People have to repeat things for you to understand what they say.
4. You have difficulty hearing on the telephone.
The reasons for not taking action range from the fear and stigma of being perceived as becoming older, to seeing hearing loss as a low priority and putting up with it unnecessarily. One in ten adults in the UK would benefit from wearing hearing aids - that’s four million people - yet only one person in 30 does.
Hearing aids can totally transform lives, giving the wearer a new lease of life - building up lost confidence, reviving independence and regaining a healthy social life. With the development of a wide range of advanced digital hearing aids, which are available free of charge on the NHS, they are smaller, slimmer and discreet. Gone are the days of the ‘beige banana’!
If you are concerned about your hearing you can identify whether you need to get it tested by taking Action on Hearing Loss’s five-minute hearing check. The check, which can be accessed by visiting www.hearingloss.org.uk/check or calling 0844 800 3838*, assesses your ability to hear someone speaking with background noise - similar to being in a crowded room. If the result of the check comes out as below normal or you would like a full hearing assessment, visit your GP and ask for a referral.
For confidential and free information about deafness and hearing loss, contact Action on Hearing Loss’s Information Line on freephone: 0808 808 0123, textphone: 0808 808 9000 or email [email protected]
*Calls to Action on Hearing Loss’s telephone hearing check from a BT landline cost up to 5p per minute. Other providers’ charges may vary. Call set-up charge may apply.
Nic Thu 29-Mar-12 08:50:21
susiecb Thu 29-Mar-12 10:34:30
CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 29-Mar-12 10:40:14
wotsamashedupjingl Thu 29-Mar-12 10:45:57