There are approximately nine million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing. More than half of people over the age of 60 years old have a hearing loss, which is usually related to the ageing process.
Hearing loss advice
If you’ve recently noticed problems with your hearing, the first step is to talk to your GP and explain how these problems are affecting your life.
Your GP can carry out some basic tests and may refer you to an audiology clinic and/or ear nose and throat (ENT) department for a full assessment of your hearing. The staff will offer valuable advice and practical suggestions about dealing with hearing loss and how you may be helped by hearing aids and other devices.
Tell your friends and family about your hearing problems too. Don’t apologise (it’s not your fault); just let them know how they can help you to understand them more easily.
Action on Hearing Loss produce useful factsheets on digital hearing aids and the NHS hearing aid service. Although the current NHS range of products can cater for most types of hearing loss, many more models are available privately.
Children with hearing impairments
If you have a child with a long term hearing impairment, you may like to get in touch with the national organisation Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID) and also with the local Deaf Children’s association who run a social club on a Saturday at Riverside, Newport.
Signs that your child may be experiencing hearing loss:
- is slow to learn to talk, or they’re not clear when they speak
- often asks you to repeat yourself or responds inappropriately to a question
- doesn’t reply when you call them
- often talks very loudly
- often turns up the volume of the TV so it’s very loud
- watches other people to copy instructions, because they haven’t heard
If you have any concerns, please see your GP.