Why Check Your Hearing?

It is a common fallacy that hearing loss is always age related – it’s not!

Whilst it is true that hearing loss is a natural effect of aging, it can also happen because of a range of factors and conditions that have nothing to do with your age. And that’s why it is important to regularly check your hearing, so that if you are one of the 11 million people in the UK (according to the UK Government’s Health Security Agency), who have some kind of hearing loss, you’re able to identify the root cause and potentially slow it down.

Hearing loss affects 1 in 5 of us

  • 11 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss
  • 1.2 million have severe or profound hearing loss
  • 40% of people aged 50 or over in the UK have hearing loss
  • Rising to 70% of people aged 70 or over
  • 7.1 million adults in the UK are living with tinnitus

Source: RNID

How do you know if you have hearing loss?

Hearing loss is often gradual, and the symptoms aren’t always obvious, especially with if the loss is mild. You may be suffering and not even know it! Your hearing loss might not be serious but it can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. Check for these symptoms:

  • Everyone around you seems to mumble when they talk
  • You can’t hear speech clearly and have to ask people to repeat themselves
  • Taking part in a conversation in a noisy place is difficult
  • You need to turn up the TV volume
  • You miss the sound of the doorbell
  • You don’t hear cars approaching when you’re walking
  • You find it hard to keep up in group chats
  • You struggle to hear on the phone
  • You experience whistling or ringing in your ears

The benefits of a hearing test

Whilst receiving treatment for hearing loss rarely reverses the damage already done, it can slow it down, give you the peace of mind of knowing what’s causing it, and make your life easier. Hearing solutions can also help your mental sharpness and slow down the onset of dementia, as hearing loss interferes with your brain’s ability to process sounds and recognise speech.

Hearing loss left untreated

Hearing loss has a huge impact on our health and our wellbeing, so it is encouraging that it is largely preventable or treatable with cost-effective interventions. Left untreated it can:

  • Lead to withdrawal from social situations and isolation
  • Cause loneliness and depression
  • Increase the risk of dementia by up to 5 times

Evidence suggests that people wait on average 10 years before seeking help for their hearing loss but the earlier hearing loss is identified, the better. Find your local Audiologist in your local optician’s practice and book your free hearing test and consultation today.

Hearing aids can benefit your overall health

As we get older, many of us experience forgetfulness but studies have shown that hearing loss is often associated with cognitive decline and memory loss. In fact, for many, forgetfulness can be one of the first signs of hearing loss. This may be due to the strain that hearing loss puts on your mental resources. Reduced hearing means your brain needs to work harder to comprehend sounds, leaving less energy to process other things — this is known as ‘mild cognitive impairment’.

So, it stands to reason that improving your hearing can free up energy to support your memory and cognitive processes. Indeed, a 2020 study found that 97.3% of people with hearing loss who wore hearing aids for 18 months or more experienced an increase in cognitive function.

Mild cognitive impairment is also linked to a higher risk of dementia.

Hearing loss is a common cause of falls

Even mild hearing loss can affect spatial awareness and balance. This is because the brain uses more resources to process sounds, leaving less available to support balance and gait. As a result, those with hearing loss are more likely to trip or fall. Hearing aids offer a straightforward way to reduce the risk.

We’re here to support you

No matter what level of hearing loss you’re experiencing, support is available. If you’ve noticed any hearing loss symptoms, it’s a good idea to arrange a hearing test to get it checked out. Not only can this identify any underlying issues and prevent symptoms from worsening, but it can also help you enjoy a better quality of life.

At Hear Always, we know just how important regular hearing tests are. Our postcode tool makes it quick and easy to find a qualified audiologist in your local area. As a leading independent hearing aid provider, we offer unbiased hearing advice you can trust and will help you get the most out of your hearing aids.