Our sense of hearing is vital in connecting us to the world around us. Our hearing enables us to communicate with family and friends, to engage in hobbies and activities, to make effective contributions in the workplace, to alert us to danger. The list goes on.
Despite the crucial role hearing plays in our daily lives, society largely overlooks hearing healthcare. People tend to believe they hear ‘ok’, but how do you know what you haven’t heard? How do you know what you’re missing if you don’t check?
We wrongly believe that deterioration in hearing is an age-related problem, predominantly affecting those of retirement age. Wrong. Only about 1/3 of people with hearing loss are of retirement age. The rest are of school or working age.
Social stigma is a massive barrier to hearing care. Self-perception, ageism and vanity all play a part in preventing a positive attitude to hearing.
Individuals who notice a deterioration in their hearing are often too embarrassed to admit this to friends and family. They try to conceal their difficulty, often by withdrawing, rather than seeking help. This is a dangerous path to follow which can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. In other cases people are simply unaware of the everyday sounds they are missing. It is family, friends or work colleagues who notice but feel unable to bring this up in conversation. In both scenarios the difficulty stays hidden, silent and unaddressed.
It’s strange when you think about it. If you had toothache you would shout and go straight to the dentist. If you noticed your eyesight deteriorating, the chances are you would seek help via your GP or your local optician fairly quickly. If you thought a friend looked unwell you would probably ask how they were feeling and encourage them to open up. You would talk about it and once we start to talk and share problems we start to look for solutions and ways to get us back on track.
Our hearing health should be no different. Fantastic advances in technology mean that 95% of hearing loss cases can be treated. Wax can be removed easily, tinnitus can be managed effectively. Hearing aids are now stylish and discreet. They can link wirelessly to your TV, your landline, your IPhone, putting you back in control and allowing you to enjoy life to the full.
Why miss out? Why let those you love miss out? Start talking about hearing with your friends and family. Help to break down that social stigma and if you want some advice and support from an expert come and talk to us.More