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Deaf Awareness

How your hearing may change

As we get older our bodies can start to show some wear and tear.  This can happen with hearing, especially for high sounds such as whistles, most bird song and some speech sounds.  In fact, by the time we reach 70 the majority of us will have some degree of hearing loss, even if we’ve had perfectly good hearing up until then.

How you know you need help

  • Do you need the television volume set at a louder level than other people?
  • Have you missed callers at the front door?
  • Are other people mumbling?
  • Can you hear the phone ringing? And, when you answer, can you understand what’s being said?
  • Do you have problems hearing when there’s a high amount of background noise or when you’re with a group of people?

If any of these scenarios apply to you or to someone you know, it’s very likely that they do need some help with their hearing.

 The help you can get

Devices to help you hear better, or to alert you to sounds you might otherwise miss:

  • Hearing aids, TV listeners, phone amplifiers,
  • Alerting devices for the doorbell, alarm clock, smoke alarm, phone

Hearing aids are provided free on the NHS and can also be purchased privately.  Try the NHS hearing aids first, as privately bought aids are expensive and NHS aids are suitable for most types of hearing loss. It’s much easier to get used to a hearing aid when you first discover that you have a hearing loss, so don’t wait until you’re struggling.  Hearing aids don’t give you perfect hearing but you will almost certainly benefit from them.

Other devices such as TV listeners and alerting equipment may be supplied by your local Social Services.  In addition, all these devices can be purchased from suppliers of equipment for deaf people.

Why not consider a lip reading class?  You will meet others who also have a hearing loss, as well as learning strategies to help you in social situations.

 Special opportunities for service when you have hearing loss

 You are ideally placed to serve others who also have hearing loss.  Deafness, being invisible, is a largely misunderstood disability.  Many deaf people feel isolated and upset that nobody seems to understand why they are retreating from social situations.

You can offer:

  • Advice on how to get the most from their hearing aid and other devices
  • Encouragement to return to social situations and relieve isolation
  • Prayer and understanding of the challenges of hearing loss

 Where to find fellowship

Open Ears is perfectly placed to help as we are a Christian organisation formed specifically for those who have hearing loss.  We run a weekend or short holiday event every year which has full communication support including an induction loop for those who have a loop switch on your hearing aids, Speech to Text (STT) for those who prefer to read what is being said and a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter for those who use BSL.  We also produce Hearing Eye, a quarterly magazine written by and for people with hearing loss.  Membership is free.

For more information on holidays, please go to the Events tab.  Click on the Magazine tab to find out more about Hearing Eye.