Sleigh Bells Ring, Are You Listening?

Duncan and Todd urges people not to ignore hearing problems this festive season

With relentless Christmas songs on the radio, traditional carol services, holiday movies blaring on the TV and endless chatter from visiting relatives, the festive season can be noisy as well as joyous.

However, having to turn up the Queen’s speech can be a sign of hearing loss – and Scottish optician and hearing care provider Duncan and Todd is urging people not to ignore hearing problems this festive season.

Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. It often comes on gradually as we get older, but it can sometimes happen suddenly.

The NHS lists common signs as 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 loudly; and having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying.

Hearing loss can have many different causes, for example:

-Sudden hearing loss in one ear could be due to earwax, an ear infection, or a perforated eardrum

-Sudden hearing loss in both ears could be due to damager from a very loud noise or taking certain medicines that can affect hearing

-Gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid, a bony growth or a build-up of skin cells

It is advised that sudden hearing loss should be investigated by a GP.

Gradual hearing loss in both ears is usually caused by ageing or exposure to loud noises over many years.

Joan Brown, an audiologist at Duncan and Todd Group, which offers expert audiology services and advice.

This includes a free screening test, free hearing assessment and free unlimited service appointments as well as the latest digital technologies in hearing aids.

“With every patient, it’s important to listen and understand from them where the main area of difficulty is and be able to identify and relate to the results,” said Joan. “This might include something as simple as not hearing the TV as well, or more complex issues such as struggling to hear family members or friends around them, particularly in a crowded or noisy environment such as a Christmas party.

“An audiologist can offer help and advice on all options available for treatment, including private hearing solutions that best suit the patient’s individual needs and surroundings.”

With more than 40% of people over 50 years old suffering from hearing loss, rising to 71% of people over the age of 70; the stigma attached to hearing loss is reducing significantly.

By targeting those aged 40 and above, Duncan and Todd is aiming to make hearing difficulties something that patients are used to talking about before they suffer such loss.

If required, a full hearing assessment takes around 75 minutes. A specially trained audiologist will ask a series of medical and lifestyle questions for background information, as well as checking the health of the patient’s ears.

Next they will do a hearing test, where the patient will wear headphones. He or she will usually listen to sounds of different tones and volumes and will be asked to press a button when they hear a sound.

Treatment can help make the most of the remaining hearing. This may involve using hearing aids or different ways of communicating, such as sign language or lip reading.

Modern hearing aids have evolved into communication systems which are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours and also incorporate the very latest technology.

Joan added: “Much like a lens can be used to show how glasses can improve vision, hearing aids and wearable technology can show the benefits of using these to the patient. Everything is so loud these days, no matter where you go and whether it’s cinema or music, so it’s vital we look after our hearing, just like we would our sight.”

As an independent optician and hearing care provider, the Duncan and Todd Group offers hearing care services across a number of its branches , delivered by a team of 8 audiologists, and has invested in providing a dedicated space for audiology appointments, as well as an in-house staff training programme.

For more information on audiology, visit https://www.duncanandtodd.com/hearing-care/


Issued on behalf of Duncan and Todd Group by BIG Partnership. For more information, please contact Shona Hendry on 01224 253815 or 07739 314158.

Notes to editors:

Duncan and Todd Opticians was founded in 1973 with the aim of providing a professional local eyecare service.

Now in operation for more than 40 years, the company has expanded massively with 42 practices across Scotland, with well-known brands including 20 20 Opticians, JM MacDonald, Douglas Dickie Opticians IC Andrew and Browns Opticians all part of the Duncan and Todd family. The Group also operates a state-of-the-art laboratory, Caledonian Optical, which provides lenses to all Duncan and Todd optical practices, as well as over 200 clients across the UK.

Committed to the local community and with a blend of inspirational style, affordability and professional service, all its optometrists are registered with the General Optical Council, ensuring that patients are provided with the highest quality eyecare via fully qualified practitioners.

Duncan and Todd Group now also offer audiology services, providing expert advice and hearing care. This includes a free screening test, free hearing assessment, and free unlimited service appointments as well as the latest digital technologies in hearing aids.