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Planning Retirement Online

842 Steps to Better Hearing

September 2013

BT TowerIf you know someone who might be in London on Friday October 25th, you might want to encourage them to try the Climb for Hearing Loss!

This is a major challenge to help fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss, a forward looking British charity which specialises in providing support for people with hearing problems and tinnitus.

This certainly should be a cause close to our seems there are more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss; over 6 million sufferers are over 65; and more than 70% of everyone over 70 have some form of hearing impairment.

Often the cause is through a reduction in the capabilities of the sensitive hair cells inside the cochlea or in the region leading to the auditory nerve in the ear. This can happen naturally through ageing or can be the result of damage, perhaps from prolonged exposure to loud noise.

This sort of hearing loss is different from temporary problems that can be caused by wax or infection in the ear which actually prevents the sound waves from getting through to the inner ear.

Deafness can come on gradually so that sometimes people are unaware how much their hearing has deteriorated. If you think people are beginning to mumble, you have to ask for people to repeat things; if you have difficulty understanding what is being said in noisy places, or if other people think you have the television or radio on loudly, then you should definitely get your hearing tested.

If deafness has been caused through ageing, there is no cure, but thanks to modern research and developments, there is a terrific range of hearing aids now available which can really help bring back the quality of life.

Generally, thanks to electronics, hearing aids do a fabulous job of helping people hear better. The main hearing aid used at the moment is a BTE or behind the ear aid that rests behind the ear linked to a small earmould that fits snugly inside the ear.  There are also RITE (receiver in the ear) hearing aids; ITE (in the ear) hearing aids which fit entirely inside the ear and even CIC (completely in the canal) hearing aids.

Your specialist will be able to advise you on the difference and what might be best for you; there is also a lot of information on line about new developments in hearing aids.

Which comes back to the big climb in London.

BT Tower Climb 2013

Action on Hearing Loss is the new name for RNID, or the Royal National Institute for Deaf People.

Action on Hearing Loss is raising money to help fund research around the world on various aspects of hearing loss and help for sufferers.

Their vision is rather than just help develop the best in hearing aids, they also want to help find a cure for hearing loss and also for tinnitus.

Action on Hearing Loss is helping to break down barriers so that discoveries are turned into viable treatments and medicines, and they are also increasing the number of researchers in the field through their well-established grants scheme.

Rachel ShentonLast year Hollyoaks actress Rachel Shenton joined over 70 others to climb the steps of the BT Tower in London to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss.

This year the fund raising event is going to be repeated and Action on Hearing Loss is looking for friends, families and groups to take the challenge and climb the 842 steps in London’s BT Tower. The charity is offering lots of support to make it a fun as well as safe and worthwhile event, with support and refreshments - and of course cheers when you finally reach the top.

If you know of anyone who might be willing to undertake this fund raising cause (or even feel you might like to try it yourself!) all details are available on

But alternatively of course Action on Hearing Loss is also delighted to hear of any other fund raising ideas people may have.


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