Deaf Awareness Week 2019
By Amber Tennant
This year’s Deaf Awareness Week is here!
There are around 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK, with an estimated 900,000 people with severe or profound hearing loss.*
This week is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of hearing loss and deafness across the UK, how to help people living with hearing loss, and encourage those who have noticed the first signs of hearing loss to seek help.
Signs of hearing loss
Contrary to popular belief, it can sometimes be hard to tell if you’re losing your hearing and often other people notice it before you do. Early symptoms of hearing loss include:
- difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places
- asking people to repeat themselves
- listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need
- difficulty hearing on the phone
- finding it hard to keep up with a conversation
- feeling tired or stressed from having to concentrate while listening
If you notice any problems with your hearing, read more about treatments for hearing loss and make sure you book an appointment with your GP so you can find out the cause and gain advice on the most appropriate treatment.
How you can help
Hearing loss can lead to withdrawal from social situations, emotional distress, and depression. Research also shows that it can increase the risk of loneliness and dementia.* You can help by:
- Spreading understanding about hearing loss and deafness
- Learning and using British Sign Language (BSL)
- Donating to, volunteering or fundraising for charities which provide information, advice and support to people who live with deafness or hearing loss, such as Action on Hearing Loss
- Donating to, volunteering or fundraising for charities which train hearing dogs to support deaf people, such as Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
- Practicing good communication skills such as maintaining eye contact, speaking clearly and at a normal pace and keeping your mouth uncovered to facilitate lip-reading