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  • Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    We all do it. We all have something in our life that we put off for as long as possible. In talking to our clients, we’ve often heard them say that they’ve known there is an issue with their hearing for some time, but have put off doing something about it. So why do people avoid hearing tests?

    Why do people avoid hearing tests?

    For many, it all starts with the rush to do our homework on the school bus on the day it’s due to be handed in. And for others, it’s avoiding taking health tests until absolutely necessary. Procrastination could well be one of the reasons why you or a loved one is avoiding having their hearing tested. Life can be busy and it can seem hard to find the time to even make the appointment, let alone attend a consultation.

    Hearing loss is just a sign of ageing?

    Older people may be under the impression that impaired hearing is just a normal part of advanced age. So they decide not to “bother” anyone with it.

    Misplaced fears

    In all honesty, for some people it is easier to “side step” the issue because they fear the worst. It becomes preferable to ignore difficulties in hearing people speaking, ringing in your ears or the constant need to increase the TV or radio volume. Or possibly the thing holding you back is the misconception that hearing difficulties will lead to the “embarrassment” of having an obvious and inconvenient hearing aid. Maybe you are concerned about an elderly relative who is showing signs of tinnitus or hearing deficit, but you’re concerned that confronting them will cause upset and arguments.

    Worsening problems and their impact

    However, hearing health is not something you should take lightly. And delaying a hearing test could actually be making your problems worse. At the very least, your quality of life could be seriously eroded. If it is a gradual decline, you may not even be fully aware of just how much you are missing out on. It could be that you’ve started turning down social engagements, and you have become more insular and lacking in confidence. Or, you feel depressed and frustrated.

    One call for improved hearing

    Yet all of the above can be soothed away with a visit to an understanding and approachable independent audiologist. An appointment can be made that fits with your lifestyle and schedule. Your audiologist can test you, and talk you through the options in a calm and clear way. Whatever action is required can be arranged seamlessly. It all leads to a huge sense of relief and most likely an improvement in your quality of life.

    So why wait? Contact us today.

    Hearing tests – where to find out more

    To talk to us about hearing tests or to book an appointment, please get in touch or complete our hearing test request form.

    Find out what to expect from a hearing assessment with Help in Hearing.

  • Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    Signs You May Need a Hearing Test

    It is a fact that most hearing impaired people, who gradually lose their hearing, wait between 10 and 15 years to address the problem, usually egged on by a partner or close friend, who have become increasingly exasperated and frustrated with the television being too loud getting no response to their questions. This article looks at some signs you may need a hearing test, and what you can do about it.

    It’s also often thought that hearing loss only affects the elderly, yet more and more, it is happening to young people as well. Hearing loss among the young is most commonly talked about when it comes to personal music players and loud music. Being exposed to loud sounds on a regular basis is bad for your hearing (high frequency sounds are particularly damaging, so it’s worth getting good-quality headphones that pick up on bass well). It’s generally viewed as wise by audiologists to lower your music volume, but there are other potential causes for hearing difficulties, from wax buildup (known as cerumen impaction) to genetic factors. See the WHO (World Health Organisation) report on hearing loss among young adults and children.

    Signs of hearing loss

    So what are the signs of possible hearing loss – and what should you do about it? We’ve compiled a list of nine signs, if you have any of these, you should have a hearing test to establish if there is permanent damage and what is the best way to address it.

    You keep asking people to repeat themselves

    If your new favorite word is “Sorry?”, you may have hearing loss. This can be embarrassing or irritating for both you and the speaker, who may have to keep repeating what they’ve said.

    You can’t hear well in crowded environments

    Noisy Restaurant

    Do you find it difficult to keep track of conversations at parties, or in crowded cafes or restaurants? Maybe you think your hearing is fine because you can hear perfectly well in a quiet room, but if you’re in an environment where there are lots of other noises and interference, a poorly functioning ear will find it harder to sort out and understand information.

    You keep turning up the volume

    Turning up the volume

    If your partner keeps complaining that the TV is too loud, this may be a sign that you’ve lost “normal” perceptions of sound and volume. Or if you put the subtitles on all the programmes while you’re watching TV because you don’t catch all the information.

    Ringing in the ears

    Tinnitus

    Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is what we all experience after exposure to particularly loud noises (rock concerts are notorious causers of tinnitus). You might not experience this as ringing, it might be a buzzing, hissing, or other sound that relates to the malfunction of the inner ear. Tinnitus of any kind is considered as a warning sign of potential damage to the hearing mechanism. Tinnitus occurs when the brain becomes hyper-aware of the fact that it’s not picking up on enough sound on certain frequencies. If it continues way after the original loud noise or doesn’t seem to be connected to any event in particular, you should get it checked.

    Even if your ears aren’t ringing, if you regularly work or play in loud places you should be getting checked regularly. Exposure to loud volume noises is a common cause of hearing loss, so better safe than sorry.

    You don’t know what direction sounds are coming from

    Asking people to repeat themselves

    One of the signs of hearing loss is the inability to pinpoint where sounds are coming from, particularly in crowded places. It may seem strange to hear a noise apparently coming from nowhere in particular when everyone else assures you it’s the front door or your phone, but it’s part of having limited hearing.

    You have difficulty hearing women or children

    If you’ve lost hearing in a particular frequency, you may find it particularly difficult to hear women and children, who naturally speak at a higher frequency than many men. This could be part of normal age-related hearing loss, where higher frequencies are often the first to go (a phenomenon known as presbycusis), and it should be checked and corrected sooner rather than later.

    You’ve had an ear infection or ear wax build-up

    If you’ve had an ear infection, or repeated ones, your GP might have told you to have a hearing test to make sure the infections haven’t damaged your inner ear. If you go for a hearing test, let the audiologist know if you’ve had an infection previously, so they have all the facts.

    You also need to pay attention to your earwax. If you have a history of earwax blockage, or notice that your inner ear is itchy or that wax keeps draining out of it, you may become aware of a hearing loss which can be easily corrected.

    You’re experiencing vertigo (dizziness)

    Vertigo

    The inner ear is responsible for balance, which means that unexplained vertigo or dizziness is another sign that something may have gone wrong in your ears. If you experience dizziness when you’re sitting still on level ground or for no reason, an ear check would be wise.

    You feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying

    Exhausted and stressed out trying to hear

    This is an interesting emotional consequence: hearing specialists report that people who’ve started losing their hearing but don’t realise it often find themselves tired after conversations, because they’ve had to work so hard to hear what’s being said. This constant strain may make you irritable with other people, having to ask them to speak more clearly, yet defiantly insist everybody’s mumbling on purpose, making you feel upset about being left out.

    If that’s your experience, please see an audiologist and have your hearing checked.

    Hearing Clinics Covering Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow and Maidenhead

    If you live in the Slough, Farnham Common, Marlow or Maidenhead areas, please talk to us if you think you may have a hearing loss. We will arrange an appointment where we will test your hearing and advise the most suitable course of action.

    At Help in Hearing we carry out hearing tests in a friendly and comfortable environment using the latest testing equipment. Hearing tests require concentration but are not painful. We will discuss your lifestyle and medical history related to your ears and hearing in depth.

    Contact us if you would like to arrange an appointment.

  • Signs of hearing loss

    How do I know if I have hearing loss?

    Signs of Hearing Loss

    The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or they can be significant and come on suddenly. Either way, there are common indications. You should suspect hearing loss if you experience any of the signs below.

    You might have hearing loss if you . . .

    Socially

    • require frequent repetition.
    • have difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people.
    • think that other people sound muffled or like they’re mumbling.
    • have difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms.
    • have trouble hearing children and women.
    • have your TV or radio turned up to a high volume.
    • answer or respond inappropriately in conversations.
    • have ringing in your ears.
    • read lips or more intently watch people’s faces when they speak with you.

    Emotionally

    • feel stressed out from straining to hear what others are saying.
    • feel annoyed at other people because you can’t hear or understand them.
    • feel embarrassed to meet new people or from misunderstanding what others are saying.
    • feel nervous about trying to hear and understand.
    • withdraw from social situations that you once enjoyed because of difficulty hearing.

    Medically

    • have a family history of hearing loss.
    • take medications that can harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs).
    • have diabetes, heart, circulation or thyroid problems.
    • have been exposed to very loud sounds over a long period or single exposure to explosive noise.

    Signs of hearing loss – what to do next

    If you think you may have hearing loss, please get in touch with us to book a confidential hearing test where we will assess your hearing levels and recommend the most appropriate course of action.