World Hearing Day: Early intervention for hearing loss
“Don’t let hearing loss limit you”. That’s the headline for World Hearing Day 2020, as launched by the World Health Organization on March 3rd. It’s a day we’re proud to spread the word about at London Hearing Specialist as we’ve seen the transformative effects early intervention for hearing loss can have on our patients’ quality of life.
According to UK charity Hearing Link, 11 million people in the UK have hearing loss and while 6.7 million of them could benefit from hearing aids, only 2 million people use them. The consequences of untreated hearing loss at any age are significant.
What happens when hearing loss is not treated?
In babies and young children, untreated hearing problems can lead to difficulties with speech, language and communication. This can have knock-on effects on learning and the development of their social skills.
For those with healthy hearing during childhood, hearing loss can still occur in adulthood, for example, as a result of ear infections or noise-induced damage to the ear. The resulting hearing loss can make it harder to excel at work as following conversations and instructions becomes more difficult. Isolation and depression can set in as a result. For those of an older generation, hearing loss can increase the risk of cognitive decline and dementia as the brain receives less stimulation from the sounds around them.
The longer hearing loss goes undetected and therefore untreated, the worse it gets and the greater impact it has on your quality of life. That’s why it is so important to visit an audiologist at the first signs of hearing problems, which include:
- needing to turn the volume up when watching TV or listening to music
- difficulty hearing words against background noise
- difficulty hearing consonants
- increasingly having to ask people to repeat themselves or speak louder
- conversations sounding muffled
What can an audiologist do for you?
An audiologist can thoroughly assess your hearing and then advise you on the best interventions for your lifestyle and needs, which include:
- hearing aids; these hearing devices are designed to amplify sounds and come in a variety of designs from those which sit behind the ear to those that are completely hidden from view within the ear canal
- cochlear implants; these can help those with profound hearing loss by sending sound signals directly to the auditory nerve
- assistive devices; these include FM devices to pick up sound from a person wearing a microphone and transmit them to a receiver you wear, portable sound amplifiers, captioning on TV shows and films and vibrating alarms.
- sign language and lip-reading
- auditory training to help your brain focus on relevant sounds and so improve your listening skills and speech
With so many options available, you’re certain to find the right solution to help you hear better for longer. To get started on a life of healthier hearing, book yourself in for a hearing test in London today with our experienced audiologist.