IN a world where we are constantly connected to each other by technology and social media, we can forget that the key to good communication is listening. This is why Specsavers’ audiologists across Plymouth are encouraging everyone to listen up for World Hearing Day (March 3).
It is all part of Specsavers continued campaign to break down the stigma often associated with hearing loss. Many people are not aware that hearing loss is very common and affects people of all ages. Startlingly, 1 in 6 people in the UK have some kind of hearing loss. Your hearing changes over time and for different reasons, which is why people experience different types of loss, at different ages.
As experts in audiology, Specsavers is determined to help everyone take the necessary steps to protect and preserve their hearing so they can continue doing all the things they love.
Specsavers Plymouth audiologist, Max Bennett, explains: ‘Evidence shows people suffering with hearing loss can end up feeling isolated and lonely as they struggle to communicate and join in with others. Therefore, it is crucial that people are more aware of how to spot and manage hearing loss at the earliest opportunity. It should not be neglected.’
Max adds: ‘It is also important to remember that to communicate we heavily rely on both our hearing and sight. A lot of people with hearing difficulties use lip reading to clarify things they’re not sure about. But if you’re struggling to see too, then that also causes problems. Both senses are crucial in making sure you can communicate effectively.’
It’s important that we take the correct steps to ensure our hearing is protected and this starts with regular hearing tests. It is recommended that those over 40 have a hearing test every year.
Some other steps Max recommends you take are:
- Make sure your listening to music at the correct level: Normal levels of conversation are about 65 decibels and things like concerts and other events can reach 110 decibels so it’s important to make the most of products such as earplugs if you find the sound too much. Also, never listen to your music above 60% volume as cancelling out background noise by turning up the volume can cause long term damage to your hearing and conditions such as tinnitus which is irreversible.
- Newsflash, smoking is bad: Add hearing loss to the long list of health risks for smokers. The likelihood of hearing loss increases with each cigarette, according to a recent study, on the direct link between numbers of cigarettes smoked and damage suffered.
- Wax on wax off: Problems can arise when items, such as cotton buds, are inserted into the ear. This interferes with the ear’s natural cleaning process and pushes wax and debris further into the ear, which can cause build-up or a blockage of the ear canal. Instead make sure you are getting your wax removed by a qualified professional, like the hearing experts at Specsavers.
A number of high-profile celebrities have joined Specsavers to break down the stigmas associated with hearing loss and to encourage people to listen up for World Hearing Day. Actress Sherrie Hewson has previously opened up about her own struggles saying: ‘You can miss out on a lot if you don’t hear, and often this makes you seem older than you are. People often associate hearing aids with age – I know I did – but technology is so good now that you can have something which fits in your ear and nobody would even know it’s there.
‘It’s important for people at every age to consider their hearing and not to be frightened or intimidated by hearing aids. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and it helps you to get the most out of life.’
Your hearing naturally changes over time and it is important that people take step to protect and preserve their hearing.
If you are concerned about your hearing contact your Specsavers Plymouth audiologist. To find book a hearing check visit, www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/plymouth-hearing