Over a third of people in a recent survey said that the thought of hearing loss embarrasses them.

Recent research by Specsavers Hearing Centres at Gardeners World Live, where they were carrying out free hearing tests and providing hearcare information, explored visitors’ perceptions of hearing loss.

While over a third of respondents said the idea of hearing loss made them feel embarrassed, 14% said it made them feel anxious and 12% answered lonely.

Perceptions of age related hearing loss

Four fifths of respondents were also unaware that dementia was an early indicator of hearing loss and 43% were unaware when age related hearing loss comes into effect. The majority of survey participants were also unaware that hearing loss affected 10 million people in the UK, with 82% thinking it to be a lower figure.

A gardener's viewpoint

Nigel Colborn, gardening expert and Specsavers Hearing Centres ambassador, says: ‘The results show a lack of knowledge around hearing loss and the stigma attached to it. It is a tough condition to accept and cope with, but there shouldn’t be an association of embarrassment, loneliness or any other negative feeling; it is a natural part of the ageing process that everyone goes through, without exception.

I’m a firm believer that spending time outdoors is good for the body and mind, and hearing is a vital to properly appreciating this. Gardens have their own soundtrack, there is as much beauty in the sounds of the garden as there is in the sights. Your hearing is crucial when it comes to enjoying the serenity of nature.”

Impaired hearing also affected many respondents in social situations, with 64% admitting to pretending to know what someone was saying to avoid embarrassment, and 66% unable to join in fully with conversation in certain social situations.

Hearing loss can impact heavily on social situations in busy bars and restaurants where catching all the conversation can be difficult.

Read more about Specsavers hearing services.

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