Could deafness make you lonely?
- Credit: Archant
Those with hearing impairments are at serious risk of feeling of isolated says a Suffolk specialist.
A leading audiologist has spoken in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on loneliness.
Karen Finch, the managing director of The Hearing Care Centre in East Anglia, has claimed that untreated hearing loss can seriously contribute to similar feelings of isolation.
Whilst Ms Finch welcomed the announcement by the PM that there is to be a nationwide strategy to tackle loneliness, she was keen to state that the isolation suffered by those with hearing loss also needs to be on the nation’s agenda.
Ms Finch said: “People who can’t hear properly are unable to communicate effectively and rather than face the embarrassment of constantly asking people to repeat themselves or, worse, mishearing what has been said, they often simply stop trying.”
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The specialist also pointed to new evidence showing that untreated hearing loss in older people can be a precursor to dementia.
One of Karen’s principal concerns is that some GP’s don’t have the necessary training to deal with patients with hearing loss, and don’t always refer those who complain they aren’t hearing as well for an appropriate assessment.
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“It’s great that there will be more money to help those who complain of loneliness but increasing the number of community and art spaces or setting up cafes and gardens won’t help those for whom the root cause is the loss of their hearing.”