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Your senses

Sight and hearing loss

Having control over our lives is important and adjusting well to change is central to our psychological well-being. A loss of eyesight or hearing can have a huge impact on our lives if not dealt with.

Sight

Our eyes are one of our most valuable senses yet as we age our eyesight can be one of the first things we notice deteriorating. Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of preventable blindness. People over 60 are eligible for a free NHS sight test every two years, annually if you are over 70. See your Optician for more information.

Hearing

More than 50 per cent of people over 60 will be affected by some type of hearing loss. Older people can feel vulnerable, lonely and isolated and can wait many years before seeking help. It can be better to find out about hearing aids sooner rather than later as getting used to amplified sounds is harder if you've already got used to a 'quieter world'. If you think you may have some hearing problems you should visit your GP as soon as possible, who will do some simple tests.

Questions

  1. I find it difficult to hear in social situations and feel really isolated and embarrassed by having to keep saying "pardon".
  2. Our senses are really important. Don't wait for the problem to get worse.
  3. Talk to your GP who will do some simple tests and try to find a way to help.

GP says

If you visit your GP about your hearing they may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist or (particularly if you are over 60) an Audiologist. They will test you further to determine the cause of your hearing loss and work with you to find the best possible treatment.

Optician says

If you visit your Optician about your eyesight they will check for Glaucoma, which usually starts by afftecting your side vision (peripheral vision). We often don't notice this as our brain compensates for a large amount of this part of our vision being affected. If Glaucoma isn't caught and treated early - then it can go on to cause fairly serious 'tunnel vision'. Eventually, without treatment, it will also affect your central vision.
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