Search volumes for terms associated with hearing loss, including ‘deaf’ and ‘cochlear implants’ saw a spike in June 20221, coinciding with the time Love Island contestant Tasha Ghouri entered the villa, according to research from Hearing Direct, the leading online authority in hearing solutions and support.
Tasha wears a cochlear implant, which she had fitted when she was five years old after being born deaf. Prior to her appearance on Love Island, Tasha modelled for ASOS, with images of her cochlear implant featuring on a jewellery campaign which went viral in 2021.
In one of the first episodes of the series, Tasha told her fellow islanders: “I was born completely deaf and I wear a cochlear implant in my right ear. It doesn't define me, it's just a part of who I am - I call it my superpower.”
A cochlear implant is fitted via an invasive surgical procedure and is for people who are permanently or very severely deaf and for whom a traditional hearing aid is not suitable. It is attached to an electrode which picks up sound and transfers it to the skull.
Bev Carter, Senior Hearing Aid Audiologist at Hearing Direct, said: “Whether you love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that Love Island influences people of all ages and attracts a huge number of viewers. Seeing a contestant who is open about their hearing loss is positive for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Hearing loss is often invisible and underrepresented, but mainstream media and culture is helping to raise awareness of the different challenges, open up conversations, remove stigmas, and also make the world around us more inclusive.
I would urge anyone who thinks they might be experiencing a change in their hearing to book a test as soon as possible. There are so many solutions out there now that can help everyone dealing with all levels of hearing loss. You can even book free initial hearing checks online, so there’s never been an easier time to take those important first steps."
Read 5 first steps for those who think they may be experiencing hearing loss:
1. Observe changes when in social settings
Have you noticed that you’re finding it increasingly difficult to hear when there is a lot of background noise, or struggling to hear friends or family in social settings? This is often the first sign of hearing loss. Similarly, if you notice a change with a family member you should tactfully mention it to them, as hearing loss is often spotted by those around us before we realise it ourselves.
2. Take an initial hearing check
A hearing check can help you determine whether there is anything going on before you go for a more formal appointment. Hearing checks are available for free online and take as little as five minutes to complete.
3. Book a test
Depending on the outcome of your initial check, you should then book for a full hearing test to get an expert opinion on whether you have hearing loss. Making this a regular part of your health routine is a good way to keep on top of your hearing and to detect any issues early.
4. Research your options
There is a huge variety of gadgets and devices to help with hearing loss, and technology has come a long way in recent years. From TV receivers to almost invisible digital hearing aids, there are plenty of solutions to help you live your daily life to the fullest.
5. Have regular reviews
It is important to get regular hearing checks and tests, much like you would with your general health. If you do wear hearing aids, ensure they are regularly monitored and updated, so that you are getting the best out of the devices.
About Hearing Direct
Hearing Direct is the online authority within the hearing space, offering world-class products, advice, support and service at outstanding value. Its vision is to significantly improve the lives of people with hearing impairment, through its holistic service, HDcare, which combines the very best digital tools and services with real audiology expertise to give complete care to people with hearing loss, from the comfort of their homes.
1. Data from Google Trends reveals a 66% increase in searches for ‘deaf’ from 29 May-4 June to 5-11 June and 360% increase for ‘cochlear implant’ during the same time.