Hearing Awareness Day – Patient Information
By H Dominic W Stiles, on 27 February 2018
By Abir Mukherjee @ClinicalLibUCLH
This second post of this series highlights a small selection of reliable patient information resources for hearing loss in general. Once again, these sources either meet the NHS Information Standard or are produced by reputable organisations.
Action on Hearing Loss (formerly the Royal National Institute for Deaf People – RNID) estimates that one in six people in the UK has hearing loss or is deaf, and increasingly people are accessing help to hear better. Their website discusses in clear terms, the different types and causes of hearing loss and deafness, as well as what people can do if they are worried about hearing loss – from seeing a GP to getting hearing aids or a cochlear implant. They also have a very useful glossary for hearing disorders and symptoms. NHS CHOICES also provides a relevant overview of hearing loss including symptoms and treatment options. In line with this year’s World Hearing Day theme of ‘Hear the Future’ they also discuss some simple but common sense ways of reducing the risk of damage to hearing such as:
· not having the television, radio or music on too loud
· using headphones that block out more outside noise, instead of turning up the volume
· wearing ear protection (such as ear defenders) in a noisy environments
· using ear protection at loud concerts and other events where there are high noise levels
· not inserting objects ears – this includes fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissues
· Get a hearing test as soon as possible if worried about hearing loss -the earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it.
ENT UK, produced by the Royal College of Surgeons also has easy to understand information on ear anatomy and how the ear works to explain hearing disorders and common causes. Patient Info also has a range of pertinent information on hearing disorders and downloadable leaflets.