With the Christmas festive season upon us, it is more important than ever to be aware of your hearing health and those around you.
Those who suffer from hearing loss can feel isolated and avoid social situations around this time of year.
A leading audiologist from Specsavers has shared some advice to be proactive about your hearing health and put those with hearing loss at ease so everyone can be merry and cared for during the festivities.
Christmas is a time where family and friends come together, and a time of happiness.
However, if you have hearing loss, it can also be a time of the year when you feel overwhelmed and isolated. Being in rooms with loud background noise, music and people talking over one another, can make it difficult to keep up for some.
Recent research carried out about hearing loss in Ireland has shown that almost two thirds (64%) of adults claim hearing loss would impact on their attendance at social events, with a third (33%) claiming they would be less inclined to go to events as they’d be afraid they wouldn’t be able to hear people properly.
Audiologist at Specsavers, Orla Walsh, comments: ‘Hearing loss can be gradual, and many people may not notice that they are struggling. It’s important to keep on top of your hearing health and it is also important to be mindful of others. Research has shown that many people do not want to wear hearing aids as it will make them feel old, impact their appearance or they are worried they will be judged. We need to combat the stigma around hearing loss and the reluctance to wear hearing aids.’
With Christmas just around the corner, Orla Walsh has shared some of her expert advice below;
Make sure to visit your local Specsavers in the run up to Christmas. Our stores offer three-minute hearing screenings, available to anyone over 18 years old. Specsavers’ Audiopad technology is also available in-store. This is a 20-minute test that lets customers know whether they would benefit from a free in-depth hearing assessment, which would take an hour.
At Christmas gatherings, be sure to have the person’s attention before you start speaking. If you are hosting a Christmas get together and are aware of a guest with hearing loss, make sure to seat them in a position away from where the music is playing, with a wall behind them, so there is not noise coming from every direction.
If you are a hearing aid user make sure to always wear them! Keep your hearing aids out of reach or children and animals and avoid leaving them in a cold car as the hearing aid could start malfunctioning.
Be pro-active about your hearing health and ask a member of Specsavers staff about the extensive range of hearing aids available. Prices of hearing aids start from €300 with PRSI.
App-enabled hearing aids are available where the settings and volume can be altered on your phone, depending the given social situation.
*The nationally representative survey was conducted in March 2019 by Empathy Research through an online omnibus survey. A sample size of 1,000 was achieved with quotas set on gender, age, social class and region to achieve a sample aligned with national population. For more information, please visit www.specsavers.ie/hearing.