The stigma of hearing loss seems to finally be breaking down in Gosport, as more people than ever are willing to have their hearing checked.
Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care, which has a branch on the High Street in Gosport surveyed 600 people over the age of 45.
Just over half (55 per cent) said they would welcome having hearing check-ups.
However, despite the positive news, there still remains a significant 45 per cent, who are reluctant to take care of their hearing due to vanity, perception of price or it being an admission of growing older.
Branch manager Hannah Gordon said: ‘Since we introduced NHS hearing care in our branch nearly three years ago, we have seen a significant number of customers seeking hearing care advice.
‘It’s encouraging that since the government made hearing healthcare more accessible by bringing it to the high street, people are taking advantage of the opportunity as it’s more accessible and convenient than going to hospital.’
With more than 10 million people in the UK affected by loss, this equates to one in six of the population and 5.3 million of those are over 65.
But with only a small proportion of these people currently seeking help, the Scrivens research is encouraging.
Hearing loss is not only a health issue, it can be extremely isolating from a social perspective and there are growing links between poor hearing and dementia.
Ms Gordon added: ‘Our population is ageing and more and more of us will experience hearing loss in our advancing years.
‘There’s an obvious link between eyes and ears but hearing has always been seen as the poor relation.
‘This survey shows signs that people’s attitudes are changing and more of us are willing to take care of our hearing in the same manner as our eyes.
‘However, there is still an education job to be done on those reluctant to get their hearing checked.
‘It needn’t cost a penny, with free digital NHS funded digital hearing aids available on high streets.’