Residents in Merthyr Tydfil are being urged to have their hearing checked during National Deaf Awareness Week, as research estimates that more than half a million people in Wales suffer from hearing loss.
In Wales, 575,500 people suffer from some form of hearing loss, 9,000 of which are aged 17 to 29 and there are 351,000 people that would benefit from using a hearing aid.
Deafness is the third most common disability in the world, caused by a range factors including age-related damage to the cochlea, regular and prolonged exposure to loud noises and genetic predisposition.
With 50% of hearing loss being preventable, Specsavers is highlighting the importance of having regular hearing tests during National Deaf Awareness Week.
A hearing test can accurately assess your hearing, as well as identify conditions such as tinnitus, a ringing in the ears, and wax build-ups. The test can also spot further, more serious conditions such as inner ear tumors, known as cholesteatoma.
Chris Ward, of Specsavers Opticians and Audiologists in Merthyr Tydfil, said: ‘The stigma of hearing loss is most commonly associated with the natural aging process, however, this is a misconception and it can affect people of all ages.
‘Some of the common symptoms of hearing loss or damage can include inability to follow conversations in a group and frequently turning the volume up for television.
‘In Wales, it is estimated that there are 265,500 people under the age of 70 with hearing loss, which is why we’re championing the importance of having a hearing test to help identify any changes to a person’s ear health. When it comes to hearing loss and damage, the sooner a person seeks help the better.’