Hearing loss is estimated to affect one sixth of the UK population. Caused by a mixture of noise exposure and old age, it is believed that out of ten million people suffering with some form of hearing loss, 3.7 million are of working age (16 – 64) while 6.3 million are of retirement age (65+). But did you know that on average, it takes people a staggering ten years to address their hearing loss?
Help combat this and take action now! If you think you may have hearing problems, visit your GP. They will check your ear for any problems such as earwax, infection or a perforated eardrum. Furthermore, your GP may refer you to an audiologist or an ENT surgeon for further tests, including tuning fork tests and Pure Tone Audiometry.
You might also wish to visit The Action On Hearing Loss website for an online hearing test assessing your ability to hear someone speaking when there’s background noise – similar to being in a crowded room. During this short five-minute test, a voice repeats sets of randomly generated numbers for the user to hear and key in. With the voice gradually getting quieter, the better the person does, the harder the check will become. At the end, you are given a result to indicate your hearing ability and what you need to do next.
These tests are really important as they ensure the right support and treatment are provided. They also reveal just how well the ears are functioning and their ability to detect different levels of sound.
“The stigma associated with deafness means many of us are too embarrassed to admit we cannot hear as well as we used to,” explains Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK. “This is a tragedy, because while there is currently no cure for deafness, if diagnosed early enough, there is much that can be done to combat hearing loss.”
For more information on hearing tests and support for hearing loss, visit http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk
Making A Noise About Hearing Protection