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University expertise underpins high-profile Christmas campaign to remedy hearing loss

Published: 22 December 2005

The University of Southampton's Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) has used its expertise to design a test that underpins a new initiative by the charity RNID to reach the estimated four million people in the UK who are losing their hearing, but doing nothing about it.

The campaign, which starts with TV commercials on Christmas Day, aims to encourage people to take action to tackle their hearing loss at an early stage.

A quick and easy telephone hearing check which anyone can use has been developed by the ISVR. Television advertising over the holidays will encourage people to take the test for themselves. The test lasts 5 minutes. The number to call is 0845 600 5555.

Audiology expert Professor Mark Lutman from ISVR designed and validated the check which has been endorsed by celebrities Eamonn Holmes, Sir Cliff Richard, Claire Rayner, Alan Titchmarsh and David Starkey.

Professor Lutman said: "I am delighted to help RNID highlight the widespread and often invisible problem of hearing loss which leaves people isolated and out of touch with family, friends and colleagues. Help is at hand through today's modern and effective hearing aids but people need to take the first step themselves to get help."

A MORI survey commissioned by RNID found almost half of adults in Britain believe that embarrassment about not being able to hear prevents people with hearing difficulties discussing their problem with others, or contacting their GP.

Notes for editors

  1. The ISVR has recently been awarded a prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for its work, including improving quality of life for severely and profoundly deaf people.
  2. The University of Southampton is one of the UK's top 10 research-led universities, with a global reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. With first-rate opportunities and facilities across a wide range of subjects in science and engineering, health, arts and humanities, the University has around 20,000 students and 5000 staff at its campuses in Southampton and Winchester. Its annual turnover is in the region of £274 million.
  3. RNID is the largest charity working to change the world for the UK's 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people. They do this with the help of their members, by campaigning and lobbying, raising awareness of deafness and hearing loss, providing services and through social, medical and technical research.

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