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A Bishop Auckland opticians is asking people to ‘love their hearing’ this Valentine’s Day following concerns that some may face being lonely hearts because of hearing problems.

One in six people have some degree of hearing loss but only around 40% of those who need hearing aids have them. It not only impacts the quality of daily life; left unchecked, poor hearing can lead to social isolation and depression.

Now Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care on Cockton Hill has made a heartfelt plea to encourage people to have their hearing checked.

Branch manager Jo Bestford said: “It’s time to give your hearing some love and look after your hearing, just as you would your eyes or teeth, by having regular check-ups. With free NHS hearing tests and digital hearing aids available on the high street, help is more accessible than ever.

“Hearing loss can cut people off from family and friends and make social situations more difficult. They may then become isolated and be more prone to feelings of loneliness.

“Although hearing loss cannot be cured it can be treated and improve the quality of life. Advances in technology have significantly improved hearing aids which are smaller and more effective and will make a real difference.”

Hearing changes gradually over time and hearing loss can occur at any age but for the majority it occurs over 50. More than 70 per cent of people over 70 suffer to some degree.

Research has shown there is a link between untreated hearing loss and depression. Older people with hearing loss are more than twice as likely to develop depression as those with healthy hearing, according to the charity Action on Hearing Loss.

Scrivens recommend an annual hearing health check for anyone over 50 to identify any changes and see what action is needed.

It provides a free NHS hearing service for people who are eligible and have been referred by their GP. It includes a comprehensive hearing assessment, fitting of digital hearing aids where required, ongoing aftercare support and a regular supply of batteries.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care was established in 1938 and has 183 stores in England and Wales, and 1,000 employees. For more information, visit www.scrivens.com

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