When left untreated, hearing loss can increase the risk of other acute health conditions and lead to social withdrawal and low self-esteem.
The earlier hearing loss is diagnosed and treated, the greater the benefits for the patient and their wellbeing.
Impact of hearing loss
Hearing loss is rarely sudden, which means many will not detect an issue right away. Often it will be a family member or friend that notices it first, leading to a hearing check with the GP.
Fear of losing their hearing can cause feelings of anxiety or stress. Some patients will be in denial that there’s anything wrong, while others will be hesitant to get a check.
It’s vital to help patients understand that hearing loss is easy to manage and that there are support services available to them. A diagnosis is a positive step towards improving their quality of life and improving communication with loved ones.
What GPs can do
Encouraging patients to get regular hearing checks by incorporating it into their regular check-ups means hearing health stays top of mind. Explain the importance of their hearing and that it should be monitored like any other aspect of their health, such as eyesight, cholesterol or heart function.
Having posters or pamphlets for hearing checks in the waiting room is a good way to prompt patients into taking action if they’ve noticed changes in their hearing.