A SHOCKING quarter of men “switch-off” within the first 10 seconds of a conversation with their partners – according to research.
A study by hearing aid specialists Hidden Hearing, which has a branch in Lytham, has shown how bad everybody in the North West can be at listening.
One in three people admit to regularly having ‘pretend’ conversations – nodding and agreeing without hearing, or understanding, what was said.
Almost 35 per cent of people in the North West admitted to switching off in the first 30 seconds of a conversation, with the most common topics for tuning out being household chores, moaning, work, people talking about themselves and money worries.
But with 10 million people affected by hearing loss in the UK, switching off could also be a sign of struggling to hear and understand.
Elaine Norris, hearing aid dispenser at Hidden Hearing in Lytham, said: “To listen properly, we need to be able to hear properly, and there is a big difference between switching off because something is uninteresting, and being hard of hearing.
“Hearing loss can have a huge impact on a person’s social and private life, often leaving them feeling isolated and unable to join in with life – but this is not something people need to put up with, expert advice can fix all that.”
Specialists from Hidden Hearing aim to conduct 20,000 free screenings during a hearing awareness month roadshow, which will be travelling around the UK.
The roadshow is coming to Blackpool, next Tuesday (September 18), and will be at the Solaris Centre, on Harrowside, South Shore, between 9am and 5pm.
And the local branch is encouraging anyone who has any concerns about their hearing to come along for expert advice.
Experts will be available to carry out screenings, and give information.
Elaine added: “I have worked for Hidden Hearing for six years and in that time I feel we have helped many people improve their quality of life.
“Our hearing is a vital sense, which must be protected and checked regularly.
“I fully support our Hearing Awareness campaign in September, and encourage everyone to visit our roadshow, or our hearing centre.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about your hearing health and general hearing matters.”
Research by Hidden Hearing has found hearing loss can have a negative impact on people’s daily lives – with 41 per cent saying they felt like they were “missing out on life”.
But only one in 10 people seek help from the onset of hearing loss, and 20 per cent of men wait five years, or more, before reporting symptoms.