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Can I Pass What

Monday, 24 January 2011

DID you think your mum and dad had their television rather loud while you were home over Christmas?


Traditionally, deafness is associated with ageing, and often remains largely untested as long as deniability is possible. However, at this particularly sociable time of year, hearing loss can ultimately lead to detachment and solitude as sufferers struggle to participate.


With new CDs on in the background, clattering dishes in the kitchen and a number of conversations going on, the atmosphere at Christmas is hardly conducive to coherent conversation at the best of times.


Phil Spencely, hearcare director at the Huddersfield Specsavers store says, 'If you noticed a friend or family member struggling to hear at Christmas' whether you had to repeat yourself or you noticed that the Queen was speaking much louder than normal, persuading them to get a hearing test can markedly improve their quality of life.


'You wouldn't think twice about visiting an optician if your sight was impaired. For most people, hearing loss is too embarrassing to face up to. The reality is that one in seven people suffer with varying degrees of deafness and it can be managed quite substantially with a properly fitted hearing aid.'


Some of the signs of hearing loss are:

  • Muffled hearing.
  • Difficulty understanding what people are saying, especially when there are competing voices or background noise. You may be able to hear someone speaking, but you cannot distinguish the specific words.
  • Listening to the television or radio at higher volume than in the past.
  • Avoiding conversation and social interaction. Social situations can be tiring and stressful if you do not hear well. You may begin to avoid those situations as hearing becomes more difficult.
  • Depression. Many adults may be depressed because of how hearing loss is affecting their social life.


Phil Spencely says, 'There seems to be a stigma surrounding both hearing loss and the correctional devices used to manage the symptoms. It is also a common misconception that hearing loss generally only occurs with old age, in fact with the increase in popularity of portable media such as iPods and the consequent increase in earphone usage, young people are putting themselves at risk more and more.'


To make an appointment for a free hearing test at one of over 400 Specsavers hearing centres across the UK, please call 0808 143 1143 or visit www.specsavers.co.uk/hearing.


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Specsavers notes to editors 


  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has nearly 1,500 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009/10
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader's Digest in 2009
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * - 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offers a hearing service from more than 400 locations
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Guide Dogs and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. During its three-year support for Diabetes UK it raised more than £250,000 to fund various projects
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas, for use in developing countries. Specsavers stores across Britain raised more than £300,000 in 2009 to fund a dedicated eyecare clinic and teaching facility in Zambia, supported by Vision Aid Overseas. Stores will raise an additional £300,000 to continue the project.
  • Raised more than £300,000 in 2009 to fund a dedicated eyecare clinic and teaching facility in Zambia, supported by Vision Aid Overseas. Stores will raise an additional £300,000 to continue the project.