MILLIONS of people in the UK may be suffering hearing loss and doing nothing about it.
Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has come out in support of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf's "Breaking The Sound Barrier" campaign which is reaching out to the reported 4m people across the country who are not acting on their unfolding hearing loss.
The RNID provides a telephone hearing check, which the MP took.
He joins 180,000 people who have already made the call.
Mr Sheerman said: "Most people don't realise how important their hearing is until they start to lose it.
"I urge concerned people in Huddersfield to take RNID's telephone hearing check.
"Hearing loss can lead to stress and difficulties in communicating, both at home and work.
"Yet digital hearing technology can transform lives for the better and reconnect people back into society".
RNID's chief executive Dr John Low estimates that more than 40% of people over the age of 50 will experience some level of hearing loss, which he warns could have profound effects on peoples' lives.
Dr Low welcomed Mr Sheerman's support.
He urged: "Follow Barry Sheerman MP's example and take RNID's simple hearing check. It takes just five minutes, putting you back in touch with friends, family and colleagues."
Recent Ipsos MORI research shows almost half of adults believe that embarrassment about not being able to hear prevents people with hearing difficulties discussing their problem with others, or having a hearing test.
RNID has been pursuing a long-term campaign to improve quality, access and take-up of effective hearing aids.
Currently over half a million people have benefited from digital hearing aids available free on the NHS.
Breaking The Sound Barrier aims to inform and persuade people to address their hearing loss, not only for their own benefit, but for that of their family, friends, colleagues and society at large.
The number is 0845 600 55 55.