November 17's Minutes

Minutes from November 2017

We welcomed Leanne Andrews from Malmo Hearing,

Leanne is a hearing aid audiologist who herself suffers hearing loss and wears hearing aids.

Hearing loss is often an overlooked condition and it’s not until its rectified do you realise how bad it has gotten.

1 in 6 people will experience hearing loss in their lives. People with diabetes are twice as likely to experience hearing loss. High glucose levels in the blood cause damage to blood vessels in much the same way as they do to eyes causing retinopathy, so the blood vessels in the ear effect the ability to hear.

How many times have you said, “pardon”, “speak up”, find it hard to hear over background noise, in a group do you have problems hearing the speaker. Women talk at a higher pitch so sometimes if can be more difficult to hear them and of course the creeping up of the volume on the television. All signs of hearing loss.

So what can cause this. It’s a gradual process that happens as you can get older, not always but age can have a huge effect on hearing loss. Ear wax can cause hearing loss, problems with your middle ear, infections etc and also infections in the bones of the ear, they can also develop arthritis in the bones. Kids these days can’t be doing much good with their ear buds blaring music. WE can be exposing kids to  damaging levels of noise at concerts, school yards, loud noises. This is called a noise induced hearing loss.

Genetics can pay a part in hearing loss, being prone to ear infections, the MMR vaccination can be linked to hearing loss and of course, medications can pay a part in hearing loss, anti-inflammatory medications and diaretics can also contribute.

Hearing loss can also be noted as tinnitus, which is the brains way of replacing frequencies you cannot hear with an “internal” tone.

Remember that you don’t have to put up with hearing loss. Everyone over the age of 6 is entitled to a free hearing test (under 6’s are still covered by the screening service through the health visitor).  And specialists in hearing loss like Leanne can refer you into NHS services or supply hearing aids privately – they are expensive though starting at £999 for 2 hearing aids up to £4000 for 2.

Suffering hearing loss qualifies you for a disabled person’s railcard.

Leanne left us with a quote from Helen Keller

“Blindness separates us from things but deafness separates us from people. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus – the sound of the voice that brings language, sets thoughts astir and keeps us in the intellectual company of men”.

A huge thank you to Leanne for spending the evening with us.