Hearing loss is a common problem that often develops with age or is caused by repeated exposure to loud noises.
Action on Hearing Loss estimates that more than 10 million (about 1 in 6) people in the UK have some degree of hearing impairment or deafness.
Hearing loss can occur suddenly, but usually develops gradually. General signs of hearing loss can include:
- difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say
- asking people to repeat themselves
- listening to music or watching television with the volume turned up high
If you are having problems with your hearing, contact your GP who will examine your ears and may refer you to an audiologist for further tests.
It isn't always possible to prevent hearing loss if you have an underlying condition that can cause you to lose your hearing.However, there are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of hearing loss from long-term exposure to loud noise. This includes not having music or the television on at a loud volume at home and using ear-protection at loud music events or in noisy work environments.
In Rotherham patients are referred to the Audiology service via their GP but we have recently launched a one-stop-shop service - for patients with gradual bi-lateral hearing loss – to which patients can self-refer. You must be registered with a Rotherham GP and be aged 55 or over. You can self-refer by contacting the department directly. You will be seen within 6 weeks of your referral. At the appointment, if you have a problem with your ears, you will be seen by a nurse first and then have your hearing assessed by an audiologist. Depending on the type of hearing loss you will be issued with your hearing aid. The appointment may last 1.5 hours