How Common is Hearing Loss?
Over ten percent of the population (400,000) have some degree of hearing loss.
Is Hearing Loss an Old Person’s Problem?
Hearing loss may have been perceived as such decades ago, but not now. No matter what age noise pollution, similar in nature to smoking, is causing gradual hearing loss in all age groups. This in turn will lead to misunderstandings, depression and isolation.
So How Can I Recognise Hearing Loss?
Those with a hearing loss tend to shout, may not appear to be listening, interrupt a conversation, walk away, or maybe turn up the radio and TV volume. They will often accuse others of mumbling or say they can hear perfectly except in a noisy situation. Persons with a hearing loss will often face you as they unconsciously lip read your speech.
What Is It Like To Be Hearing Impaired?
Hearing people have little idea of what it is like to be hearing impaired. Those with a hearing loss usually do hear sound, words and music. So people are apt to say “oh you can hear?” This is not so as the sound does not make sense and guessing missing words can be embarrassing.
Imagine going to a foreign movie which has no subtitles – yes, you can here the sound, maybe recognise the odd word, but it does not make sense. That is what it is like to be hearing impaired.
Can Hearing Loss Be Cured?
No, it is like losing a limb. It will not grow again.
There are many ways that can help you to restore an active and better quality of life. Firstly there is the hearing aid. Tiny sophisticated aids are available. Getting used to wearing one as soon as hearing difficulties occur is good insurance for later on in life when hearing worsens. There are several devices such as flashing lights shake-awake special telephones, for example Captel telephones.
Of great importance is captioning on television. While the availability of captioning is not as great as overseas (75 % of all programmes in the UK) the number of programmes captioned is slowly improving in New Zealand.
Where Can I Get Help?.
There are many people available to help you. The Hearing Associations throughout the country as a first point of call for those with a hearing loss. The Deaf Association for those who are Deaf.
Call 0800 23 34 45 or contact us as we are here to help!