On World Hearing Day 2019, The World Health Organisation is drawing attention to the importance of early identification and intervention of hearing loss. Many people live with unidentified hearing loss, often failing to realise that they are missing out on certain sounds and words. Trevor Chapman, Audiologist at angli-EAR Hearing explains how checking your hearing is the first step towards addressing the issue.
Who does hearing loss affect?
In the UK it is estimated that one in six adults have some degree of hearing loss. 42% of adults over the age of 50 have age-related hearing loss. This statistic rises to 71% of adults over 70 years old.
On average people wait 7 to 10 years to have their hearing tested. A recent study shows that 71% of hearing device owners would have preferred to have treated their hearing difficulties sooner.
What are the symptoms of hearing loss?
If you need to raise the volume on the TV, miss out on parts of conversations, often ask people to repeat themselves or have a ringing sensation in your ears then you could have the start of hearing loss and should get your hearing checked by a professional.
Hearing loss can develop very slowly, often going unnoticed for a number of years. Age related hearing loss, the most common form of hearing loss, means that you can typically hear the volume of peoples’ voices pretty well and can hold a conversation when there is no other noises around you, but when you find yourself in a more challenging situation e.g. a family gathering or a noisy coffee shop then you can find yourself asking others to repeat themselves because you missing the clarity. You can still hear the volume of the voices, but find it more difficult to follow the conversation. As a result of this gradual decline in your hearing, we recommend regular hearing checks to make sure this doesn’t become a bigger problem. Find out more on the symptoms of hearing loss.
Why should I have a hearing test?
A hearing test not only helps to understand what you can and can’t hear, but also helps check for any changes in your hearing over time – just as would happen with a regular eye test.
We’re all aware that regular eye checks are good for us; your hearing is just as precious. The World Health Organisation recommends those over the age of 60 should get their hearing checked annually. But whatever your age, if you are exposed to noise at work, listen to loud music or use medicines that can harm hearing you should also get your hearing checked regularly.
Why go to an audiologist and not just see my GP?
Research shows 72% of people first talk to their GP about their hearing loss. The GP’s advice, in more than 50% of cases, is to seek help from a hearing aid dispenser or audiologist.
Time is an issue and the earlier you address a hearing loss, the better.
What impact can hearing loss have on my work and social life?
The impact of not checking your hearing can be significant. The World Health Organisation reports that adults with unaddressed hearing loss also have a much higher unemployment rate. Among those who are employed, they often earn lower wages compared with the general workforce and need to retire early. Exclusion from engaging in communication can have a significant impact on everyday life; causing feelings of loneliness, isolation, and frustration. And, hearing loss is associated with early cognitive decline in older persons with hearing loss.
To support the “Check Your Hearing” campaign of World Hearing Day, angli-EAR Hearing offers a free 30-minute hearing test to see if there are any signs of hearing loss.
Should the result show that there is indeed some form of hearing loss, we’ll recommend a full diagnostic assessment in order to fully understand the cause and severity of your hearing difficulties and find a solution for you. Our full diagnostic tests are free until the end of April, so if you’re suffering from the symptoms of hearing loss, a hearing test and treatment can make a huge difference to your life.