Olivia advises on why it is important to treat your hearing loss as soon as possible.

There are definite benefits for intervening with your hearing sooner rather than later, I have this discussion quite a lot because it isn’t something that you necessarily notice straight away and it is something that we are trying to encourage people to have a regular check.

If you do discover that you have hearing loss then really for ease on yourself it tends to be something that most people end up with, you’re looking at over 70% of over 70’s  having hearing loss so most people will do well  if they don’t end up with some degree of hearing loss  and the sooner you intervene the smaller the jump is from where your hearing is to where you need to be.

It means that when you actually get the  hearing aids, your more likely to find it easier to acclimatise to them, which is one of the big reasons why people reject hearing aid, because once they get them and they get used to putting them in and realise that they are not anywhere near as big and clumpy as they used to be and they’re quite discreet and cosmetically pleasing, they struggle to get used to the sound of them.

Sometimes because if you’ve left it 10/15 years after your hearing has first started to deteriorate, you’re going to make a big jump then, so I would say that’s the main benefit.

Another big benefit is that its really good for your health, so again a lot of people don’t know that there are links  between increased risk in Dementia and Alzheimer’s with untreated hearing loss, so from a health perspective you want to be doing something sooner rather than later even a mild loss can double your risk of developing something like that and that’s why you should incorporate it into your test battery .

Then in terms of the long-term effects of your general health things like poor dexterity and memory loss effect your ability to learn to and use a hearing aid.  It may be now that you say you’re absolutely fine “I’ll put it off for a few years” but you don’t know how your hands will be, or how your ability to learn how to use it will be in that time.

I find that if I show someone how to use it now, sooner, they get into the habit of doing it so that when things deteriorate in the future, they know what they’re doing. Where as  if you then try and train somebody to use a hearing aid later on, that’s when it becomes more of a struggle so having it as part of your daily routine sooner, rather than later is definitely going to be of benefit.

I see so many people that say I should have done this years ago, I’ve had this for 5 years, 2  years, whatever it may be and all that time they’ve not been hearing very well and then in the end they got hearing aids anyway .

You could have been hearing well all that time and just thinking about all those conversations that you missed out on or those experiences you weren’t able to contribute to as much because your hearing was down and if you could go back again you’d do it straight away.