Going Deaf: How to Cope If You’re Losing Your Hearing
Losing your hearing is actually a lot more common than you might think. If you are concerned that you are going deaf, you should seek help as there are solutions to improve your quality of life. Approximately 1 in 6 people in the UK are either hard of hearing or completely deaf, which is around 10 million people in total. Approximately 42% of those over the age of 50 suffer from some degree of hearing loss, and this figure rises to 70% in the over 70s.
How Can You Tell You’re Going Deaf?
Initially, you might not notice that your hearing is starting to become impaired. In many people, hearing loss can be a gradual process, and as a result, you’re unlikely to identify it immediately.
Here are a few signs that you might be starting to lose your hearing:
- You’ve noticed that people seem to be mumbling more, rather than speaking clearly.
- TV / Radio. You struggle to hear the television or radio, even when others say that the volume is too loud.
- You find yourself having to focus hard on what people are saying, and are having to guess at times what they’re talking about.
- You’re finding it increasingly difficult to hear what people are saying on the phone.
- Background noise. Any background noise, such as a busy restaurant, makes it especially difficult for you to follow conversations.
Getting it Checked Out
If any of the statements above apply to you, it’s probably a good indication that you need to get your hearing properly tested. Remember, hearing loss is a very common complaint and is nothing to be embarrassed by. Bear in mind also that there are devices which enable you to hear properly once again, but you need to speak to the doctor first.
If you’d rather test yourself initially, you can use the hearing test offered by Action On Hearing Loss. The call is charged at local rates, but other than that, is free to use. You’ll be asked to listen for 3 random numbers, and then show that you’ve heard them by pressing the correct corresponding keys on your phone keypad. To take the test, call 0844 800 3838. Alternatively, there are free hearing checks that you can do online.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
After having a hearing test at your doctors, the most likely form of treatment to be offered to you is a hearing aid. There are many different forms of hearing aid available, from those that you wear over the ear or in the ear itself, to bone conducting hearing aids, which pass vibrations directly through to the cochlea.
If your hearing loss is severe and hearing aids don’t help, you may be recommended for a cochlear implant. There are currently around 11,000 people with cochlear implants in the UK at the moment, and numbers are increasing.
Looking After Your Hearing
Remember that hearing loss affects a large number of people across the country. It’s a common condition and there are a variety of solutions available to help you to hear properly once again. If you’re concerned about your hearing or that you may be going deaf, it’s advisable to arrange for a formal hearing test to establish just what treatment is best suited to you.
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