Stigma of hearing loss is breaking down

Post on 27th April 2016

The stigma associated with hearing loss seems to finally be breaking down as more people than ever are willing to have their hearing checked.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care surveyed 600 people over the age of 45 and 55% said they would welcome having hearing check-ups.  However, despite the positive news, there still remains a significant hardcore, 45%, who are reluctant to take care of their hearing due to vanity, perception of price or it being an admission of growing older.

The survey coincides with the launch of this year’s Deaf Awareness Week (2-8 May), an annual event that highlights the issues faced by those experiencing hearing loss.

Scrivens Head of Marketing, Claire Hyde said: “Since NHS hearing care has become available in many of our branches, we have seen a significant number of customers seeking hearing care advice.  It’s encouraging that since the government made hearing healthcare more accessible by bringing it to the high street, people are taking advantage of the opportunity as it’s more accessible and convenient than going to hospital.”

With more than 10 million people in the UK affected by hearing loss, this equates to 1 in 6 of the population and 5.3 million of those are over 65*. But with only a small proportion of these people currently seeking help, the Scrivens research is encouraging.

Hearing loss is not only a health issue, it can be extremely isolating from a social perspective and there is now an accepted link between uncorrected hearing loss and dementia.

Claire added: “Our population is ageing and more and more of us will experience hearing loss in our advancing years.  There’s an obvious link between eyes and ears but hearing has always been seen as the poor relation.

“This survey shows signs that people’s attitudes are changing and more of us are willing to take care of our hearing in the same manner as our eyes.  However, there is still an education job to be done on those reluctant to get their hearing checked and that it needn’t cost a penny with free NHS funded hearing aids available on high streets.”

If you have any concerns about your hearing please visit our home page to find your local Scrivens branch.