People suffering from hearing loss take an average of six months to seek
medical help, according to a study.
About a third take more than two years before approaching their GP about the
problem, reports the survey by the charity Defeating Deafness.
But this reluctance to see a GP could be putting people at risk of long-term
hearing damage, it warned.
The study, carried out by Dr Ian Williamson, senior lecturer at the
Southampton University, also found the number of consultations had risen
sharply over the past 10 years.
Despite this, just 14 per cent of those questioned said they had sought
medical help immediately, and many people possibly did not seek help at all.
The most common reason for not seeing a GP was that patients did not think
the problem was serious enough to bother them.
A week of fundraising and awareness raising events, Deaf Awareness Week, is
taking place from 5-11 May.