Learning Disability & Hearing Loss
Mar 11, 2015 in Hearing Aids
Our fully qualified and trained audiologists will be able to advise you on the best course of action should hearing loss be detected. Choose from a wide variety of state-of-the-art digital hearing aids, from some of the top brands in the world. We also provide a free hearing aid demonstration and live speech mapping, which will give you an idea of how the hearing aids will improve the quality of your hearing. We have an unmatched after-care programme, including free consultations and hearing checks, adjustments to your hearing aid and a supply of hearing aid batteries. So drop in at your local Leightons Hearing Care branch or call our hearing are experts on 0800 40 20 20.
A recent report published in the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants found that people with learning difficulties (PWLD) are more likely to have hearing loss. Startlingly, the report also found that hearing loss is less likely to be diagnosed and managed in PWLD. This could be due to a variety of factors and barriers. However, the fact remains that there is a link between hearing loss and learning difficulties – both in children and adults.
Learning disability or developmental disability covers a wide range. It can be described as a significantly reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills. It can also include a reduced ability to cope with tasks independently, which usually starts before adulthood and can have lasting effects on development. It covers conditions such as autistic spectrum disorders, dyslexia, Down’s syndrome etc. It is important to note that learning disability is not the same as having mental health problems, though PWLD are at a higher risk of developing these problems during their life.
Nearly 40% of people with learning disabilities in the UK suffer from some level of hearing loss, most of which is unlikely to be diagnosed in the long term. One of the important factors in this is that hearing loss diagnosis usually relies on self-referral; a person knows when her hearing ability is deteriorating and is therefore likely to seek help. This self-referral is an initial barrier for PWLD, as they may not be aware that they have hearing loss, nor have the awareness to alert others about it. Self-referral is just one hurdle towards diagnosis; barriers can also be found during hearing assessment as well as in after-care i.e. after the fitting of a hearing aid. But perhaps the most critical problem is that hearing loss is not seen as a priority when compared to other health problems in PWLD. It is necessary that support workers who work with PWLD be more vigilant about hearing loss – both in detecting the signs of it, as well as in management of hearing loss once it’s diagnosed.
What you can do
Hearing loss and learning disability need not be a double whammy. There is also some level of misconception that PWLD cannot have hearing tests or may not tolerate hearing aids. Technological advances have made hearing aids smaller and better and there is now an option to suit almost every requirement.
At Leighton Hearing Care, we pride ourselves on our wide selection of hearing aids from the top brands in the world. You will find digital hearing aids from Oticon, ReSound, Siemens, Phonak and Widex on our shelves. Our digital hearing aids contain advanced microprocessors that guarantee the best signal processing and most comfortable fit. Choose from a variety of styles and have them customised to your needs. We also provide a full lifestyle consultation and a free hearing assessment. Drop in at your nearest Leightons Hearing Care branch and avail our free hearing aid demonstration. With our Live Speech Mapping service, you can experience first hand what a difference our hearing aids can do to your hearing and learning abilities.