Almost nine out of 10 over-50s* suffer from hearing loss but most are too embarrassed to admit it, new research has revealed. An incredible 96.4% of Brits aged over 50* say that they have noticed deterioration in their hearing quality as they get older, according to the nationwide study by hearing care specialists Amplifon.
Working alongside Amplifon is TV's This Morning resident doctor, Dr Chris Steele. Dr Chris suffers from hearing loss and is working with Amplifon to help raise awareness of hearing loss and how it affects people's day-to-day lives.
He believes that Britain needs to be made more aware of just how big an issue hearing loss and deafness is in the over-50s in 2012 and is encouraging the thousands who suffer in silence to get help.
He said: "Hearing loss and deafness is a massive issue among the over-50s living in the UK. I believe everyone over the age of 50 should have their hearing tested regularly.
"Thousand upon thousand of us suffer from a huge reduction in hearing quality, severe hearing loss or partial deafness and get no help at all because we fear the stigma that seems to be attached to it.
"Many people shy away from family gatherings and nights out with their friends because they find it difficult to hear. And some 43.7% say their hearing loss has had a detrimental effect on their relationship with their partner.
"All this makes them feel increasingly isolated as they withdraw from social situations. Many admit they feel depressed but are too embarrassed to admit they have a hearing loss problem because it either makes them feel old or somehow second-rate.
"It can affect everyday life in a big way - things many people take for granted, like driving a car, can become very difficult. Some 14.4% of over-50s admit they no longer drive because of hearing loss - that too adds to their feeling of isolation."
The Amplifon study also reveals that almost six out of 10 over-50s (58.9%) say there is a huge stigma attached to hearing loss and deafness and, more shocking, is that more than four out of 10 over-50s admit they feel have become anti-social because of hearing loss.