I recently met up with the charity the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to hear about the key issues around deafness, hearing loss and hearing health.
Hearing loss affects 1 in 7 of the adult UK population. Around 4 million people in the UK are losing their hearing, but doing nothing about it. The RNID say research suggests it takes people on average 15 years to address a hearing loss.
The RNID is calling on the Government to introduce a National Hearing Screening Programme for older people. To publicise this campaign, they have introduced a simple hearing test which can be taken online or over the phone.
So far over 450,000 people have taken the test, which does show there is public appetite for an easy and accessible way to check your hearing. I am one of the 450,000 and I am glad to say that my test showed my hearing is within the normal limits for a person of my age.
So my hearing is fine. But, as anyone who has met me yesterday or today will know, I have unfortunately currently lost my voice! As one constituent said – rather unfortunate for a politician!