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Deaf Awareness Week 2018 - 14th-20th May

View profile for Sarah Masters
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Deaf Awareness Week 2018 - 14th-20th May

Stephensons is supporting the national Deaf Awareness Week 2018 and helping to educate people about the life changing condition.

The aim of this week is to raise awareness for not only those affected by hearing loss, but what the symptoms and warning signs of hearing loss are and what you can do to help.

Who is affected by hearing loss?

The loss of hearing can happen to anyone at any time but the majority of people affected are over the age of 60. There are currently 11 million people in the UK affected by hearing loss, which is one in every six people with a hearing disability.

What are the symptoms of hearing loss?

It is important you know the signs of hearing loss because the sooner you identify the problem, the sooner you can get treatment. Treatment is often more beneficial when it is started early. The Action on Hearing Loss charity advise you to ask yourself these questions if you have concerns that you have hearing loss:

  • Do you turn up the TV louder than your family wants it?
  • Do you find it hard to follow conversation in pubs and restaurants?
  • Do you struggle to hear on the phone?
  • Do you often ask people to repeat what they say?
  • Does your partner complain that you don’t listen to them?
  • Do you find others mumble?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions then make an appointment with your GP to discuss your concerns and get a hearing test arranged.

If you also hear a pulsating, ringing, buzzing or hissing sound then you may also have tinnitus, which is also associated with hearing loss.

What you can do to help

Deaf or hard of hearing adults and children face communication barriers which can often cause them to lose confidence, feel depressed, become isolated and feel excluded from society.

If you meet a deaf person and you do not know sign language, remember to:

  • Politely get their attention by moving into their field of vision
  • Stay visible and speak normally
  • Use simple gestures and body language
  • Talk clearly without shouting
  • Write it down or draw a picture
  • Speak one at a time
  • Keep your mouth visible
  • Smile and relax
  • Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly
  • Repeat yourself if necessary and never say ‘it doesn't matter’

Work related deafness

According to the HSE, around 170,000 people in the UK suffer from deafness, tinnitus or other ear problems as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work. This is known as ‘industrial deafness’ or ‘occupational deafness’. If you think work is to blame for your hearing problems then you should seek legal advice.  

Engaging a solicitor with specialist expertise in industrial deafness claims is extremely important as sometimes evidence dating back several years will need to be gathered, and in some cases a company that has since ceased trading may need to be reinstated in order to pursue the claim.

We have high level, specialist experience in handling industrial deafness compensation cases and we have arrangements in place to make communications straightforward for clients. You can get in touch by calling us on 01616 966 229.