Wye Valley NHS Trust is encouraging everyone to check their hearing regularly with a new hearing app launched this week, as part of World Hearing Day.
HearWHO is a free app that allows people to check their hearing, which was launched on March 3, by the World Health Organisation as part of World Hearing Day 2019.
Alison Stather-Hooper, senior audiologist at Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “We’re encouraging everyone to download the HearWHO app to check their hearing, especially people who are at a higher risk of hearing loss such as people who are 50 years and older and those who work in a noisy place, listen to music at high volumes for long periods of time, and anyone who has ear problems.
“Many people don’t realise they have a hearing loss and often may ask people to speak more loudly, repeat themselves, raise the radio or television volume, or have a ringing sensation in their ear (tinnitus).
“Children with hearing loss may have problems with speech development, as well as complaining of ear pain and discharge. They may struggle to concentrate, especially when it is noisy around them and find many louder sounds uncomfortable.
“If you have concerns about your hearing or hearing of the person you care for, contact your GP and ask to be referred for a hearing test. It’s important to identify hearing loss early to help people cope effectively and avoid becoming socially isolated and struggling with everyday communication.
“Hearing loss can be due to many things, such as getting older, but it can also be due to exposure to loud noises. These are simple steps you can take to help prevent permanently damaging your hearing.”
- Avoid loud noises – a noise is probably loud enough to damage your hearing if you can’t hear what people nearby are saying or have to raise your voice to talk to other people
- Take care when listening to music – the use of earphones/headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. Use sound level limiting ones, especially for children.
- Protect your hearing during loud activities and events – don’t stand near the speakers, wear ear plugs or defenders, take a break from the noise every 15 minutes.
- Take precautions at work – always use the recommended hearing protection, switch to quieter equipment if possible and check the noise levels in your work area. Ask for hearing tests as part of health surveillance checks.
- Get your hearing tested – the earlier hearing loss is picked up, the sooner something can be done about it.
To access the new HearWho hearing test app visit https://www.who.int/deafness/hearWHO/en/
To find out more about hearing loss, symptoms, when to get medical help and treatment visit
www.nhs.uk/conditions/hearing-loss and contact your GP for a referral for a hearing assessment with the NHS.
Note to editors
Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider health services across Herefordshire and beyond.
The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve. We are the leading provider of health care in Herefordshire.
By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
With an estimated annual turnover of around £180 million, we employ around 2,700 plus staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Wye valley NHS Trust communications team 01432 372928 or 01432 355444 x5105.