Hearing loss can affect anyone at any age, so to mark World Hearing Day on March 3, we thought we’d look at the signs and symptoms of hearing loss and what you can do to get the right help and support.
There is still something of a stigma attached to hearing care, with it often being thought of as a symptom of getting older.
While this is more typical and extremely common, hearing loss can happen to anyone – so it’s vital individuals look after their ears, no matter how old they are, and speak to a professional if they notice anything unusual.
Changes can be minimised, improved and treated with the right care.
As a leading Scottish optician and hearing care provider, at Duncan and Todd Group we are passionate about removing the stigma often attached to hearing care, offering hearing solutions at our branches all over Scotland to encourage you to seek advice as soon as possible.
So, to help raise awareness on World Hearing Day, we’ve outlined the signs, symptoms and a step-by-step appointment process to put minds at ease – and our team of audiologists is always here to help.
People may experience various symptoms with their ear health, and there can be many different causes. It’s important to note that hearing loss can be temporary or permanent.
Gradual hearing loss affecting both ears is typical as you age, but it can happen suddenly.
The NHS lists common signs as difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places; asking people to repeat themselves; listening to music or watching TV loudly; and having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying.
Each case is unique to the individual, but there are a few common causes that lead to different symptoms.
- Sudden hearing loss in one ear could be due to earwax, an ear infection, or a perforated eardrum.
- Sudden hearing loss in both ears could be due to damage from a very loud noise or taking certain medicines that can affect hearing.
- Gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid, a bony growth or a build up of skin cells.
If you experience sudden hearing loss it is always recommended that you contact your GP in the first instance.
The appointment process
Don’t worry! The first step is all about communication and talking through any concerns. A specially trained audiologist will speak to the patient and find out as many details as possible to provide insight to the potential problem. At this stage, the patient would explain their symptoms, perhaps that’s struggling to hear audio in the usual volume range or having trouble picking up conversations.
The next step would be to take part in a full hearing assessment. This 75-minute appointment will focus in on medical history and ask more about the patient’s lifestyle, as well as checking the health of their ears.
Using headphones, patients will listen to sounds which feature different tones and volumes, pressing a button when they hear noise.
This comprehensive assessment allows the audiologist to provide a range of options for treatment, ensuring there is a perfect fit to suit every lifestyle.
Options and treatments
Depending on the diagnosis, patients can receive a hearing impairment care plan, which could feature hearing aids or individuals could opt to use a different way of communicating, such as sign language or lip reading.
For many, even those of an older demographic, wearing hearing aids can be regarded as embarrassing. However, it’s important to remember that wearing these can considerably benefit your quality of life.
In addition, thanks to modern technology, hearing aids are much more discreet these days, with many going unnoticed while being worn.
There are also various brands to suit all budgets. Patients can purchase a functional and discreet device to purely help them hear better, or even go for a more technically advanced aid.
Advancements in technology mean we can offer devices with Bluetooth, so you can link your hearing aid with your phone, tablets, smart watches or TVs, allowing you to stream audio.
Is there an audiologist near me?
As an independent optician, Duncan and Todd Group offers full hearing care services across 15 branches, delivered by a team of 8 audiologists, and has invested in providing a dedicated space for audiology appointments, as well as an in-house staff training programme. All of the 42 branches across Scotland offer free hearing screening.
Thanks to branches all over Scotland, you will be able to get a hearing test near where you live, without too much travel.
Book with us today!