Fear of being labelled old or disabled makes the Scots reluctant to seek treatment for hearing problems.
According to a survey on hearing loss in Scotland, around 29% of Scots think hearing aids would make them look old. More importantly, almost a third of Scots believe hearing aids would make them look disabled and would not wear a hearing aid even if they needed one.
The Scottish survey highlights the stigma surrounding hearing loss and the use of hearing aids. Although most hearing problems can easily be helped, people are often unaware that they have a problem, or they are in denial about it.
It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK could benefit from a hearing aid. Hearing aids can help a person with a hearing loss at any age and are more effective if fitted early.
Deafness Research UK has launched a campaign to encourage people to admit the problem and seek early help. The campaign aims to help people recognise the early signs of hearing loss and what they can do about it.
Source: Evening Times Online, www.eveningtimes.co.uk, 25.01.2006
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