Nearly two out of three Britons with hearing loss feel socially isolated because of their condition, according to a new survey.
One in ten of the 700 people surveyed by high-street chain Specsavers said they would not wear a hearing aid due to the stigma attached to it.
Specsavers audiologist Colin Campbell said: ‘It is really important to remove the associated stigma of old age so we have less of the population suffering from loneliness because of their hearing problems. This could be simply managed with the correct treatment and aftercare.’
The Royal National Institute for Deaf People estimates that around one in seven people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing.
The Specsavers survey of customers and passers-by was published at the start of Deaf Awareness Week today.
Jenny Moir from charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People said: ‘The findings of this survey confirm the feedback we receive from deaf people applying for our hearing dogs. Loneliness and isolation very often leads to depression.
‘Hearing aids can help many people with hearing loss feel more able to cope in society, while a hearing dog offers companionship and security breaking down barriers and increasing confidence and independence.’