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HEARING CLEARER AWARENESS MONTH - JANUARY 2008

- ONE STEP TO BETTER HEARING

Did you know that as many as one in seven people in the UK have problems with their hearing? That’s nearly nine million people with hearing loss! Yet only one in three of us who could benefit from a hearing aid actually have one. And amazingly, people struggle for up to 15 years before seeking help and going for a hearing assessment. January is 'Hearing Clearer Awareness Month', which is aimed at helping people identify if they have hearing loss and encouraging them to take that ONE STEP TO CLEARER HEARING. It has been established by David Ormerod Hearing Centres and is supported by charity Hearing Concern.

A well known personality that has faced up to hearing loss and reaped the benefits is legendary motor racing commentator Murray Walker. He was fitted with state-of-the-art hearing aids in both ears and has been delighted with the results. Murray says: “My hearing is now so much sharper. The clarity and the ease with which I hear have greatly improved. When I wear my hearing aids I notice an immediately discernable improvement and they are so comfortable that I forget I have them in.”

- WHY JANUARY?

Christmas can be a challenging period for people with hearing loss because they are typically in more social situations with friends and family, which can bring extra attention to their hearing difficulties. January is therefore the perfect time to educate people about what can be done to improve their hearing - or the hearing of a loved one - and encourage them to get their hearing tested.

- HEARING AWARENESS SURVEY

A survey of 4,000 people, conducted by David Ormerod Hearing Centres, revealed that:

. Eight out of ten people – 48 million Brits - have never had their hearing tested compared to just one in ten that have never had an eye examination

. Two thirds of people have a friend or relative that they believe has undiagnosed hearing loss, whilst a quarter know at least two people who they think could benefit from a hearing aid

. 62% believe their partner has selective hearing, although this might be undiagnosed hearing loss

. Half admitted they find it frustrating speaking to someone with hearing loss

. 41% are worried about losing their hearing

. 80% would support a national hearing test screening programme

. 31% are discouraged from getting their hearing tested due to lack of time

- IMPACT OF HEARING LOSS

Hearing and quality of life are closely linked. Even mild hearing loss can make everyday tasks more challenging. It can create a sense of frustration, a loss of confidence, a sense of isolation and a feeling of being ignored. It can make people feel cut off from their family and friends and make day-to-day communication extremely difficult. Yet hearing is so often the forgotten sense. Would you go for a check-up if you had difficulties with your vision?

- WHO IS AFFECTED BY HEARING LOSS?

Hearing loss can occur for many different reasons, from conditions people are born with to hearing damage caused by prolonged exposure to loud noises. It’s also a problem typically associated with ageing - 40% of people over the age of 50 have some degree of hearing loss. However, new research shows that 16-34 year olds risk suffering from hearing loss up to 30 years earlier than their parents because they are listening to MP3 players too loudly and too often.

- IDENTIFYING HEARING LOSS

It isn’t always easy to spot because sound can initially become distorted rather than quieter. There are some simple questions to ask to establish whether you could benefit from a hearing assessment.

• Are you constantly asking people to repeat themselves?
• Do others complain that you have the volume turned up too high on the TV?
• Do people always seem to be mumbling when they talk to you?
• Do you have trouble hearing the doorbell or telephone?
• Do you find it easier to follow a conversation if you are looking directly at the person speaking to you?
• Do you find it hard to follow a conversation in a group?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then it is worth booking a hearing test. It is also important to remember that hearing requirements change with time so even if you have already had a hearing test or have a hearing aid, it is advisable to arrange a check-up every twelve months.

- DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY

Technology is evolving all the time and hearing aids can now help more complicated types of hearing loss than ever before. The benefits of the latest digital technology are substantial, particularly compared to old analogue systems. The newest hearing aid technology has the ability to filter out background noise so personal conversations can be heard clearer, allow quick and automatic adjustments to correspond with changing environments, and reduce feedback when using the telephone. Cosmetically hearing aids are now more discreet and attractive than ever before. One hearing aid is even rechargeable - making the need to change batteries a thing of the past!

- WAITING LISTS

Hearing tests are available on the NHS but there is a good chance you’ll have to wait. A recent survey by the British Society of Hearing Aid Audiologists revealed that the average wait is 47 weeks. High-street hearing aid audiologists are filling this gap, offering a faster service, better technology and more extensive aftercare. At David Ormerod Hearing Centres you can now get a free five-minute hearing assessment if you think you might have hearing loss. A longer more in-depth hearing assessment could then be needed if you have a hearing loss in order to determine the solutions best suited to your own personal requirements. To book a five-minute assessment or for a free Essential Information Pack simply call 0845 270 3916.

For more information, case studies or to arrange an interview with Murray Walker please contact David Greenwood or Michelle Eastty at Pegasus Public Relations at 01903 821550.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Pegasus Public Relations (Worthing) in the following categories: Men's Interest, Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, Travel, Medical & Pharmaceutical, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.