Hearing is an important part of our life and when we have problems with hearing loss it can really affect our enjoyment of lots of everyday things, including socialising with friends and family.
While there are many reasons why we can lose our hearing, most problems are age related. In fact, by the time we reach 60, more than half of us will have some kind of hearing loss. Even if you can hear well, with 1 in 6 people in the UK living with hearing loss, the chances are that someone you know has some kind of hearing problem. And this may affect your life too, especially if they start to avoid social gatherings or need your help following conversations.
What should I look out for?
If a friend or family member is having problems with their hearing you may notice that:
- They find it hard to follow conversations when they’re in a group or if there’s background noise.
- They often mishear what’s being said, give the wrong answers to questions or don’t answer at all.
- Their TV or radio is turned up too loud.
- They often ask you to repeat what you say.
You might also notice changes in their behaviour and personality:
- They get tired more easily when they’re with a group of people.
- They’re quieter, and don’t join in conversations as much.
- They want to go out and socialise less often than they used to.
- They get angry or frustrated more easily.
What can I do to help?
If you spot any signs of hearing loss in a friend or family member you may want to suggest that they get their hearing checked.
It’s really easy to do; they can have a free hearing health check in over 400 Boots and Boots Opticians across the country. During their check they’ll have the chance to ask questions, talk over their results and find out what to do next. You can book a free appointment on our website bootshearingcare.com or by calling our Customer Care Team on 0345 202 7027.
What else can I do?
If someone you know has problems hearing, there’s plenty you can do to make conversations more enjoyable for you both:
- Try to find quiet places with as little background noise as possible to chat – avoid corridors, roadsides and noisy pubs.
- When you’re in a group, agree to take turns talking and try not to interrupt each other or speak over people.
- If you’re in a group, sit in a circle to make it easier for everyone to follow the stream of conversation.
- Make sure the person you’re talking to can see your face clearly when you’re speaking. Lots of people use basic lip reading without even realising.
- If someone has trouble understanding you, try saying the sentence a different way instead of repeating it. It could be that they find a particular word hard to hear.
What help’s available?
If hearing loss is age related there’s nothing you can do to repair it. However, modern, digital technology can really help with the symptoms. Small digital hearing aids are designed to fit comfortably on or in the ear, and do much more than just amplify sounds – they help cut out background noise, can focus hearing in a chosen direction and improve clarity in lots of specific situations.
If you think a friend or family member needs a little help with their hearing, a hearing health check is a great place to start and it’s free. To book an appointment at your local Boots Hearingcare centre for yourself, or a loved one, simply call our customer care team on 0345 202 7027 or visit bootshearingcare.com.