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Brits waiting months before seeking advice on hearing loss

Monday 5th March 2018
Many UK patients wait for years before seeking professional medical advice for their ailments, according to a new survey. Image: Manuel-F-O via iStock
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Some people in the UK are living with worrying symptoms such as hearing loss for years before seeking professional medical help, the results of a recent survey have revealed.

According to research carried out by Hidden Hearing to coincide with World Hearing Day, which took place on Saturday March 3rd, three-quarters of Britons are currently living with a health complaint that they are yet to speak to a doctor or nurse about.

While back ache was found to be the most common ailment that people were concealing from their GPs, living with the pain instead, other symptoms that poll respondents confessed to ignoring including hearing loss, declining eyesight, headaches and digestive issues.

One in 20 of those questioned admitted that they had waited more than a year before seeking medical advice. As a result, there is a significant chance that their general health could have worsened dramatically during that time, impacting their subsequent recovery.

Nearly half of survey respondents said they were living with ailments because they didn't want to feel they were wasting their doctors' time, while 42 per cent of people admitted to being in denial about their health issues. One in five reported arguing with their loved ones due to their reluctance to seek medical attention.

However, they need to be taken seriously; a decline in hearing function could lead to full deafness, for example, while digestive problems could be a potential sign of bowel cancer.

Commenting on the report's findings, Dr Hilary Jones, GP and medical broadcaster, stated: "It's worrying to not only see how long people are leaving things before they seek help from a professional, but also that conditions such as hearing loss are on this list. This symptom now has strong links to other serious health conditions such as dementia, depression, heart health and diabetes.

"It's important to get anything which is causing you concern checked out at the earliest opportunity."

Written by James Puckle

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