By Nicola Girling RHAD
There is a stigma associated with hearing loss and that’s something we work really hard to address at Girlings. Hearing is one of our vital physical senses; most of us cannot imagine being without it.
Technology that can improve a person’s life
I often wonder, why is it that we are so open about problems with our sight or our dental needs – with designer glasses and perfectly white veneers now so fashionable, (and costly). In fact, we often choose to draw attention to these very areas of ourselves that need improvement or correction. However, many of us are a long way from applying the same attitude to hearing loss or being open to the ultimate accessory that will address the issue – hearing aids. I’ve seen first-hand how the cutting-edge technology of modern hearing aids, which can adjust to every environment and seamlessly link with smart devices, can improve a person’s quality of life; and yet there is a reluctance to talk about it.
We really need to open up the conversation
I believe, to change society’s perceptions on hearing loss, we really need to open up the conversation. Most people lose their hearing gradually and might not even realise it. So often it is family and friends who notice the symptoms first, which is why many of our hearing aid clients are brought along for their first appointment by a partner, a son or a daughter.
Although we are reluctant to discuss the problem, it remains that there are 11 million people across the UK with a hearing loss – the partial or total inability to hear in one or both ears. There are many reasons why someone might lose their hearing, including age, prolonged exposure to loud noise, or genetics. Ear infections, autoimmune diseases and traumatic injuries all play a part too, and we see a very wide range of clients – across all age groups – in our clinics.
Addressing loneliness caused by hearing loss
Hearing loss is also a major contributor to loneliness and isolation, and nothing ages a person more than continually having to ask people to repeat themselves, but this need not be the case.
If you are worried about your own hearing or that of a family member, please do not hesitate to ask us for impartial advice.