DON'T AVOID HEARING THE TRUTH
Millions of people could be losing significant hearing and be quite unaware of it.
Hearing is the second most relied-upon sense and it can easily be damaged through loud or prolonged exposure to noise as well as the natural ageing process. While most British people value their eyesight enough to go for eye tests, few are giving the same attention to their hearing.
A survey commissioned by mobile network Audacious revealed that, although 61% of adults surveyed took an eye test in the last year, only 19% had a hearing test in the same period.
While a 2018 survey by Oticon revealed that around three quarters of British adults have never had their hearing tested in fact.
The estimate is that around 40% of people in the UK have some degree of hearing loss, yet few of these are listening to the extent of the problem. People may have a friend or relative they believe has undiagnosed hearing loss or could benefit from a hearing aid but have not gone to get tested, or refuse to. When questioned, they admitted they find it frustrating speaking to someone with hearing loss.
But it is not other people’s frustration that is the main issue – hearing and quality of life are closely linked, yet research shows that people often wait several years before seeking help. And it is the people avoiding treatment that are suffering the most.
Older people especially, if unable to hear properly, may become depressed or withdrawn, and report that they feel frustrated as well as embarrassed. More worryingly, it is not always noticed that the issue at hand is hearing loss, and, instead, the older person is labelled as ‘confused’ and ‘getting on with years’ when there is, in fact, nothing wrong with their ability to process or think.
If you, a family member or a friend has problems with their hearing, then it is strongly recommended that a hearing test be organised as soon as possible. It could be the first step towards greatly improving your or their quality of life.
It isn’t always easy to spot hearing loss because sounds can initially become distorted rather than quieter.
But there is a number of simple questions to help identify hearing loss, that one can try as a first test for oneself or another.
- 1. Do people always seem to be mumbling when they talk to you?
- 2. Do you have trouble hearing the doorbell or telephone?
- 3. Do you find it easier to follow a conversation if you are looking directly at the person speaking to you?
- 4. Do you find it hard to follow a conversation in a group?
- 5. Are you constantly asking people to repeat themselves?
- 6. Do others complain that you have the volume turned up too high on the TV?
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