Care Wise West Sussex County Council

Hear, Hear

For many households up and down the country, crowding around the television for a family film or to watch the Queen’s speech is as much of a Christmas tradition as opening presents and enjoying roast turkey with all the trimmings! However, in homes where one family member or more has a hearing problem this can result in a festive flashpoint – leading to arguments about volume and tussles over the TV remote! Did you notice a relative who had the volume turned right up this Christmas?

The all-too hectic lives we lead mean that we can sometimes overlook the health challenges faced by our parents or grandparents and it is only at certain times of the year when as a family we come together that these challenges are brought to light – one such common challenge is age-related hearing loss.

Hearing loss or the need to turn up the TV volume can be the result of many things, as such the treatments offered to patients will depend on what is causing the loss. Sometimes it gets better on its own or can be treated with medicine or a simple procedure, for example, earwax can be softened with eardrops.

If you find someone you know is turning the TV volume up, asking for someone to repeat something or mishearing, get them to seek medical advice, ask them to see their GP or to visit an audiology centre, which can be done without a referral from a doctor. An audiologist can investigate the cause of the loss and give advice and treatment options to restore the lost hearing or at least improve what hearing there is.

 

Causes Of Hearing Loss

  • Sudden hearing loss in an ear may be due to earwax, an infection, or a perforated eardrum
  • Sudden hearing loss in both ears may be due to damage from a loud noise, or medication
  • Gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid build-up
  • Gradual hearing loss in both ears is often caused by ageing or exposure to loud noises

Treatments For Hearing Loss

  • Hearing Aids – Several different types are available on the NHS or privately
  • Implants – These are devices that are attached to your skull or placed deep inside your ear, if hearing aids are not considered suitable

Prevention Against Hearing Loss

  • Not having your television, radio or music on too loud is a simple but effective defence
  • Using headphones that block out more outside noise, instead of turning up the volume
  • Wearing ear protection such as ear defenders if you work in a noisy environment, such as a garage workshop, a building site, and for those in the music industry special vented earplugs
  • Using ear protection at loud concerts and other events where there are high noise levels
  • Not inserting objects into your ears including fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissues

 

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