The stigma around hearing loss is getting better, according to a hearing aid specialist in High Wycombe, with more people willing to have their hearing checked than ever before.
Scrivens Opticians and Hearing Care on Queen Square, High Wycombe, said 55 per cent of people they surveyed over the age of 45 said they would welcome having hearing check-ups.
However, 45 per cent were reluctant due to “vanity”, price or it being “an admission of growing older”.
Branch manager Shefali Ahmed said: “Since we introduced NHS hearing care in our branch two years ago, we have seen a significant number of customers seeking hearing care advice.
“It’s encouraging that since the government made hearing healthcare more accessible by bringing it to the high street, people are taking advantage of the opportunity as it is more convenient than going to hospital.”
According to figures on hearing loss from Action Plan, published by NHS England and Department of Health, more than 10 million people in the UK are affected by hearing loss with 5.3 million aged over 65.
Ms Ahmed said not only is hearing loss a health issue, it can be extremely isolating socially and there are growing links between hearing loss and dementia.
She added: “Our population is ageing and more and more of us will experience hearing loss in our advancing years. There’s an obvious link between eyes and ears but hearing has always been seen as the poor relation.
“This survey shows signs that people’s attitudes are changing and more of us are willing to take care of our hearing in the same manner as our eyes.
“However, there is still an education job to be done on those reluctant to get their hearing checked and that it needn’t cost a penny with free digital NHS funded digital hearing aids available on high streets.”