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Take five to check out these hearing facts

Post on 7th October 2020

Hearing is a sense we often take for granted until we start to lose it; yet hearing loss is more common than you might think. Did you know that one in six people in the UK have varying degrees of hearing loss?

Here are some more facts about our ears and why looking after our hearing and seeking help when needed is so important.

1. Hearing loss can happen at any age.

Hearing loss is not solely an issue for older people. It’s true that most people who experience hearing loss as they get older do so because of wear and tear to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear. But the number one cause of hearing loss is exposure to excessively loud sounds, so you are never too young to start protecting your ears. Sadly, hearing can be damaged permanently even after a single exposure to extremely loud noise.

2. Ears play their part in balance.

Ears are not just important for hearing; they also have a role to play in balance thanks to the workings of the inner ear. The inner ear has fluid and structures that send signals to the brain that help you orient yourself and maintain balance. So when you get an ear infection it disrupts that sense of balance and can lead to you feeling dizzy or nauseous.

3. Earwax is not all bad.

It is produced to clean, protect and oil the ears to keep them healthy by trapping dirt, dust and other small matter to the sticky earwax which keeps them from getting further into the ear. Earwax usually falls out on its own but if it does not and blocks your ear put two to three drops of olive oil or almond oil in your ear twice a day for a few days to help it along. Pharmacists can suggest treatments to help with earwax build-up. If it is causing hearing loss or other issues you can seek help at your GP practice or visit an audiologist.

4. Hearing remains alert even in deep sleep.

Our bodies need sleep to recover from the day, but while certain processes slow down our hearing remains switched on. While in our slumber, sound waves continue to make their way down the ear canal to our brain which interprets whether we need to respond. So a child crying or the alarm going off for example will wake us up but other sounds which don’t require the same vigilance will not have the same effect.

5. Hearing aids keep your brain fit.

Hearing aids transform people’s quality of life in so many ways, including in some cases preventing hearing loss from becoming worse. For example, hearing loss caused by a high-decibel sound or injury can be maintained at the same level if adequately managed.

Hearings aids help your brain to comprehend incoming sounds and information and help the brain to stay active. Maintaining brain fitness as you age is boosted by staying mentally engaged and connected with people. If you have hearing loss and don’t use hearing aids you have a higher risk of accelerated cognitive decline than people with normal hearing. Hearing aids can help you stay socially engaged to stimulate your brain and help keep your brain fit.

Yet evidence suggests that around 40% of people who need hearing aids do not have them and that people wait on average 10 years before seeking help for their hearing loss.

It you have any concerns about your hearing or want to find out more about hearing aids, please call into your nearest Scrivens branch for friendly and professional help and advice.