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Health Matters: Adult Hearing Loss Service

Health Matters: Adult Hearing Loss Service
11 March 2019

Dr Paul Bowen, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton

 

One in six people in the UK has some form of hearing loss. The impact of poor hearing and hearing loss in adults can be substantial, leading to social isolation, depression, loss of independence and employment challenges.

Hearing loss sometimes gets better on its own with the use of eardrops from your local pharmacy, or may be treated with medicine or a simple procedure. For example, earwax can be flushed or sucked out using specifically designed ear wax removal devices. However, some types of hearing loss, such as age-related gradual hearing loss, may be permanent. In these cases treatment and support can help make the most of your remaining hearing.

One treatment method is the use of hearing aids, which are available through an enhanced community-based adult hearing loss service launched by the CCG at the beginning of the month.

The revised service will bring additional benefits to the population of Eastern Cheshire, including anyone aged 18 or over now being able to access the service, which was previously restricted to over 55s.

Another improvement is there are now six different providers offering the service, which means there are additional locations you can visit for hearing loss treatment, bringing the care you need closer to you.

Care home residents are also set to benefit as providers will now carry out assessments, fittings and maintenance in the home itself, reducing stress for those with mobility issues.

These changes have been made following feedback from workshops attended by patient representatives, charities and local providers.

There is a tendency for people suffering from hearing loss to accept it as a part of growing old but there are numerous benefits to wearing hearing aids such as:

  • They help you to hear every day sounds such as the doorbell and telephone.
  • Making you feel more confident when talking to people and making it easier for you to follow conversations in different environments, reducing social isolation.
  • Helping you to enjoy listening to music and the TV at a volume that is comfortable for you and those around you.

In order to access this service, please make an appointment at your GP practice to have your ears checked; they’ll refer you if appropriate.

Find out more about the service and other support available on our website at http://bit.ly/2TmL0kw.