Life after hearing loss
Post on 4th August 2015
With an ageing population it should come as no surprise that around five per cent of the world’s population experiences some degree of hearing loss (that’s one in every 20 individuals).
Based on these facts, it’s fair to say that many of us know someone with some degree of hearing impairment and the significant impact it has on their life if untreated.
Not an old person’s problem
According to recent research, 65 per cent of hearing loss occurs in individuals aged 65 and younger. This is a modern day problem, brought on by the prevalent use of headphones and electronic audio devices.
Scrivens hearing aid audiologist Stuart Spencer said: “We’re seeing a growing number of younger people coming to us with hearing problems that you would usually associate with older people. In many cases it’s due to their exposure to higher levels of sounds for longer durations.”
Hearing loss tends to gradually deteriorate over time and is rarely sudden. Tinnitus, or a noise or ringing in the ears, is also a very common sign of a change in hearing and is often the first sign of the onset of hearing loss.
The good news is, up to 95 per cent of cases of hearing loss can be treated with discreet hearing aids.
There is often a stigma attached to hearing loss that isn’t seen with other impairments such as sight loss. People are happy to accept they need a pair of glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision. For some reason it’s different with hearing loss, although attitudes are changing.
Stuart added: “When you are told that you have a hearing loss you feel that you are getting old and that can be hard to accept.”
People often think of hearing aids as bulky devices used by their grandparents, but today they are discreet and easy to use.
Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care offers a range of digital hearing aids, with the smallest being the size of a peanut. Many of its branches also offer NHS hearing services, offering free hearing aids and follow-up care.
“We have a range of options for those with hearing problems for private and NHS clients. Having offered hearing care for over 50 years, we have an experienced and professional team on the high street delivering the very best customer care.
“However, it’s not just a case of fitting a hearing aid and all will be resolved. It’s about understanding how hearing difficulty affects an individual’s life and offering life skills to adjust to their new sense. This may include learning how to pick the right table at a restaurant far from noise or finding the confidence to ask for clarification during a conversation,” explained Stuart.
For the most effective solutions, individuals should seek professional advice at the earliest signs of change. This change may include not being able to follow conversations, turning the television up louder than usual, or simply finding that you ask others to repeat themselves more often than usual. The change is usually hard to notice due to its gradual advancement, so it’s best to receive regular hearing checks, just as you would for your eyesight.
“Ultimately, taking care of your hearing is the best form of prevention. We should not take it for granted as once it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” concluded Stuart.
To find your nearest Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care branch visit our home page.