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Video

Voiceover: Around half of people over 60 have some hearing loss, with noise becoming distorted rather like this (muffled crowd sound). It can be a bewildering experience. Jadjivan is in his late 60’s is losing his hearing. After years of suffering the embarrassment of not being able to listen to his grandchildren or join in conversations he’s decided to visit our clinic.

Dr Christian: So, how long have you had a hearing problem for?

Jadjivan: 8 or 9 years.

Dr Christian: 8 or 9 years. And it gradually got worse and worse?

Jadjivan: Yes.

Dr Christian: Yeah? And tell me how bad your hearing is then.

Jadjivan: My hearing is very bad.

Dr Christian: You seem fine now.

Jadjivan: I can hear if there is nobody in the room and the radio is not on and the television is not on then I can hear you. But when the children are at home and the family, when we are around the dining table and they are talking, when they are a bit further away I have to ask them ‘what did you say? What is the joke about? Why are you all laughing?’. And it’s embarrassing for me all the time to ask them ‘can you repeat yourself?’.

Dr Christian: I think what we’ll do is refer you to a hearing specialist. Would you be happy with that?

Jadjivan: Oh yes, I would be very happy.

Dr Christian: Deafness can be really isolating but technology has improved so I’m confident we are going to find something that is going to work for Jadjivan.

Voiceover: Jadjivan has presbycucsis, or age related hearing loss caused by the destruction of microscopic hair cells in the inner ear which capture sound frequencies. There are 2 main causes of deafness, noise and age, and they are connected. You can’t stop aging but you can make sure you protect your ears from loud noise. Turn it down or wear ear defenders. Accompanied by his wife, Jagjivan visits the hearing clinic in London. After checking Jagjivan’s eardrums and canal, specialist Paul Checkley conducts a detailed hearing test.

Mr Checkley: You’re going to hear some beeps coming through the headphones. Every time you hear one of those beeps I want you to press the button.

Voiceover: Mr Checkley has discovered that Jagjivan’s hearing loss isn’t universal. He can hear some sounds clearly but others sounds he can barely detect. So when he’s in crowded places all he hears is a mass of noise.

Mr Checkley: Now the reason for that, if we overlay the phoneme’s of speech, when we move into the high frequency of sounds like C, Ch and Sh, Sss, those sorts of sounds, because they’re high frequency you’re not hearing those clearly.

Voiceover: There’s no cure for this type of hearing loss but with the help of a state of the art digital hearing aid which goes over the ear rather than in it, confusing background noise will automatically be filtered out for him. Jagjivan is back at the hearing specialist to try on his state of the art digital hearing aid for the first time.

Dr Checkley: Wow, first time. Excellent, that’s it. That’s great.

Voiceover: Specialist Paul Checkley has a machine that replicates the sound of a crowded room.

Paul Checkley: And what you’ll find is when you get into that sort of environment to begin with, things will all sound quite loud for you. Now, these hearing aids have a special setting. They will recognise that you’re in this environment and they will reduce things a little bit. Noticeably you’re still picking me up quite clearly even though this is actually a very difficult environment that we’re sitting in.

Voiceover: First impressions are good but the real test will be how Jagjivan copes with them in his everyday life. 2 months later he’s back to give Dr Christian his verdict.

Dr Christian: So Jagjivan, you’ve got 2 new hearing aids. Are they working well for you?

Jagjivan: Very well, I can hear quite a number of people nearby me. I can hear the conversation and taking part as well. I do not have to say ‘what did you say? I beg your pardon’.

Dr Christian: So at the dining table, with the family…

Jagjivan: I can hear everybody clearly. Even with the television I do not have to put it loud. My Mrs doesn’t shout that it’s too loud. In fact I have to tell her stop.

Dr Christian: Don’t shout any more, she forgets. Did you expect them to be as good as this?

Jagjivan: No.

Dr Christian: And you’re happy with the looks, they’re easy to use, they’re easy to maintain?

Jagjivan: Yeah.

Dr Christian: Perfect. Well, what more would you want? Nice to see you again, Jagjivan. Thanks for coming back.

Read the video transcript

Around half of all people aged over sixty experience distorted hearing, which can often lead to feelings of humiliation and isolation. Dr Christian refers a patient with age related hearing loss to a specialist who arranges for a super intelligent selective hearing device to be fitted.

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My mom is 62 years old and has a serious hearing problem. How can she get free hearing devices? Do South African government health facilities offer that? Please help.





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I have sensorial hearing loss from military service and found this a very interesting video but why, why, why do you have to have intrusive music playing along with the dialogue? If only TVs had a separate adjustable volume channel purely for 'background' music so it could be turned off!





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I lost my hearing 2 yrs ago in my left ear all of a sudden too it was strange ,well it went to both of my ears but my right ear came back..been to several doctors had a lot of tests done and period shots also and still nothing...I can hear when they give me test or when I use headphones for my phone , but my insurance won't help me with a hearing aid... Does anyone no where or how I can get one or get help I'm on social security and in my mid 40s...thanks if you can help ....





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After hearing tests I have been given hearing aids, which work quite well, but during the tests I had a bone conduction test which meant that I could hear everything loud and clear! Is this type of hearing aid not available on the NHS? Comments would be appreciated.





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I had hearing problem all my life when I was 2 years old I think I wear to hearing aids because of my ear drum has burst and lot of problem when I was born and if you can't really hear I think it is very important to Wear your hearing aid it not because you make yourself look cool without them everyone is not perfect I don't need cochlea implant because my hearing is not that bad because when I take my hearing aids out I still have some hearing aids For the one who haven't got hearing problems if you always have your music up loud you can burst you ear drum and lose your hearing compliantly for the people who laugh at us is not good because one day you might have to get one or two one day People who might thinking about hearing problems wanna ask hearing places to cheack you up because there are the best people for that and the hosapital people would be the fist place you go to because to see if your hearing is not thatcbad or it is it depends on how bad your is





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have hearing porbmles please help katelyn





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hi can someone help? iv had a bad cough for about 5 weeks now i have a very bad cold with lots of stuff coming out my nose with an small amount of black stuff went to doctors and she has give me amoxicillin my main problem is my hearing has gone abit my hearing s not brilliant to start with but its really getting me down now any help would be good thanks guys x





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I am a 28 year old female, with genetally good health, about Month ago i developed Bad cold/virus,.and during this developed very loud ringing and partial hearing loss in both ears! To say i am worried would be an understatement, have paid private to see an ENT specialist and he is refering me for an mri test, as audio test came back normal! Strangely! But i am experiencing loud hissing noises and low frequency hearing loss! Ii really dont want this to be permanent but as time goes on i am losing hope! Can anyone help with advice! ! Thank u xxx





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Hi my name is Dennis i read your comment about your hearing loss,and i can assure you iam in the same bout has you,I am getting constant hissing noise,I have been to the ent spcscialist, thye looked at my ears, and said i have an infection in my ears, I dont know whats causing it , but its constant, and its depressing also,I wish i could give you an positive answear why we have all these problems , but I cant you are younger than me, you should be in your prime of health , hope you get better soon, and make a full recovery.

Around 15 years ago I went to the Dr becauI as I was not hearing clearly from one ear, had a hearinng test and was told nothing was wrong; 5 years later told the same thing after my other ear was checked. I find that I have to concentrate a lot to try and figure out what words I have not heard and am forever asking people to repeat themselves - very embarassing and now feel that I should tell peope that I have a hearing problem even if Dr have not found this to be the case.





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I am 20 years old an very recently lost my hearing. I have no hearing in my right ear an very little in my left, I have been to the doctors numerous times till recently beig referred to ENT who then varied out a hearing test and am now waiting for my hearing aids, the call it SSHL I am angry it took so long for someone to understand me and help me . Doctors said it would come back but not a thing yet and with every hearing test my hearing levels get lower.





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My partner and I are both Deaf. I have a Hearing Dog to help me with sounds that most people take fore granted. I was very surprised that your video on DEAFNESS didn't have any sub-titles - what a SHAME you do not understand Deafness. Please let me know when subtitles are introduced. Kind regards.


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