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Hear Hear to the Great Big Hearing Check!

Free hearing checks during the first week in September

Hearing is one of the big silent problems of ageing. Hearing problems can come on so subtly and slowly that we don’t realise there is anything wrong. We start missing the odd word or two but don’t really relate it to a health problem. All too often it is only when relations or friends advise us that we may have a hearing problem that we take action to get professional advice.

Over 10 million people in the UK are affected by hearing loss and, of those, two in five people remain untreated.

Well done to Boots who have launched the Great Big Hearing Check, a new campaign to inspire people affected by hearing loss to take action.

The campaign is supported by the charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the RNID) and for the first week in September, until the 9th, this UK wide initiative will be encouraging people to take action.

The Great Big Hearing Check is offering everyone a free, quick and simple way to help them identify any issues with their hearing as soon as possible.

“For every person who experiences hearing loss there are many more who may not even know that there is more to hear than they think” says Karen Shepherd, Audiologist, Boots hearingcare. “We want everyone to get the most out of their hearing – whether that is something as practical as hearing the doorbell go or the microwave ping, or their enjoyment of a favourite piece of music. Our free hearing check only takes 15 minutes, so it can be done during a lunch break or regular trip to the high street. The Great Big Hearing Check aims to remind people not to forget their ears - it is important to get your hearing checked every two years, just like your eyes. Our experts are on hand to help people manage their hearing so they can ensure that they’re not missing a thing.”

Paul Breckell, Chief Executive of the charity Action on Hearing Loss, says:

“Hearing loss can affect each and every one of us, so it is never too early to start looking after your hearing. Are you already asking people to repeat themselves more than you used to, or struggling to hear in crowded places? If so, a simple hearing check could offer you peace of mind and advice on what you can do to best help your hearing – either through Boots UK or the NHS. The Great Big Hearing Check offers everyone, of whatever age, the opportunity to take action on their hearing today so that they can make the most of it for years to come.”

It may not be all bad news; hearing loss might be due to a simple problem such as blocked ear wax or an ear infection, but it may be that a hearing aid could help. Hearing aids now come in all shapes and sizes and many are very discreet, meaning people can find something that’s just right for them.

Boots hearingcare audiologist Karen Shepherd kindly gave us her tips for healthy hearing:

  • “If you have noticed that sounds appear to be muffled or dulled, it may be due to a build-up of wax. A hearing check can reveal if wax is the cause and if it is you can speak to us about the options available and direct you to your pharmacist or GP about treatment as appropriate.
  • Keep cotton buds away from ears – your ear canal is tiny and it is easy to perforate your ear drum with a bud so you may want to try a cleaning spray instead.
  • Regular gig goers and concert fans may want to take a pair of ear plugs with them to limit any potential long term impact on their ears. Music at shows like this is usually played out at around 100 decibels – and anything over 85dB has the potential to affect hearing. A pair of ear plugs will help to keep it protected, while still enabling you to hear the full set!
  • Reduce the volume and/or time spent listening to personal music systems via headphones
  • Extended time in the water can increase likeliness of an ear infection, so if you are a keen swimmer make sure you dry your ears thoroughly after your swim, or ask your Pharmacist about drops that can help keep infection at bay.
  • Ensure you book a hearing check every two years to help stay on top of your hearing and to help make sure any problems are identified as early as possible.

To book a free hearing check, visit where you can also find your nearest store, or call 0333 920 6469.

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