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“Struggling to make hens meet?”- Are you mishearing things? RNID launches free 3-minute online hearing check

RNID, the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus, is today launching a new free online hearing check that only takes 3 minutes to make life fully inclusive for millions of people.

The charity is asking the nation to check their hearing with a campaign centred around common and often humorous misunderstandings people have when struggling to hear clearly. On average, people wait 10 years before seeking help for their hearing loss. In this time, they can face increasing social isolation and barriers to communication that seriously affect their happiness and wellbeing. Chances are, you’ve probably noticed a loved one turning up the volume on the TV or friends that struggle to join in conversations in noisy environments, and because of this RNID has launched the free online hearing check to help people spot hearing loss and seek support sooner.

The free online hearing check has been designed with audiology experts and takes just three minutes to complete. It measures how well you can hear a voice saying three randomly generated numbers over background noises and will give people instant results. While it’s not designed to replace a full hearing test conducted by an audiologist, it will recommend the next steps to take with a personalised certificate that they can take to their GP to discuss next steps.

The hearing check is the first offering from the charity’s new digital service, which seeks to provide relevant information and support to people at the right time so, no matter what life event someone may be experiencing, they can access vital information and support from RNID and partner organisations.

Chris Worboys, 59 from Gloucester who has hearing loss said: “I delayed getting my hearing checked for over a year because I was so busy at work and I never found the time to see my GP or be referred to audiology. Even with having a daughter with a severe hearing loss, I put it off so that I could just focus on work and pushed myself through the problems. When I eventually got round to it, they confirmed a mild hearing loss, and I was given hearing aids. I wish I had got this checked earlier as it would have meant that I wouldn’t have struggled to hear colleagues at work so much. I have been with my daughter to all her hearing checks so I knew what to expect and I could always hear the sounds when she couldn’t. If there had been an online hearing check such as the new RNID one, I would have been able to check my hearing, and this might have prompted me to go to my GP sooner.”

Michael Wilkinson, Digital Director at RNID said: “During the pandemic, many people started to recognise they may have hearing loss. With the introduction of face coverings and social distancing it has made many people realise just how much they have relied on visual cues to understand conversations. Our research¹ has shown that during lockdown 58% of people have faced challenges communicating in retail settings and for 61% of people, workplace changes have made it harder to do their job. This is a huge amount of people, therefore we have created this tool as the first step in helping people to live a fuller life. We hope that people find this tool really useful and it helps them get the support they need at an earlier stage.”

If you think you have hearing loss, you can take RNID’s free online hearing check. It takes up to 3 minutes and will suggest whether your hearing is in a normal range or whether you may have hearing loss.

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Notes to editors

RNID (the Royal National Institute for Deaf People) is the national charity making life fully inclusive for deaf people and those with hearing loss or tinnitus. Together, we campaign for an inclusive society. We connect people to practical advice and pioneer new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus.