Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson is backing a charity’s efforts to minimise the impact of hearing loss in everyday life.

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is urging older people to get their hearing checked, so they can start benefiting from hearing aids and other assistive equipment if necessary.

During a recent meeting, Mr Matheson found out about the charity’s Hear to Inform and Connect service, which is supported by the Big Lottery Fund and is hoping to engage local community and social groups.

He said: “Action on Hearing Loss Scotland told me that, on average, people wait 10 years from the point that they first notice hearing difficulties before going for a hearing test.

“Digital hearing aids and modern technology such as amplified phones or personal listeners can help many of those affected to hear more clearly and stay connected with their family, friends and neighbours. It makes sense to get your hearing tested as soon as you start struggling to follow conversations, which is why I’m happy to back the charity’s service.

“I encourage community and social groups in Falkirk district to contact Action on Hearing Loss Scotland to set up free information talks, which help raise awareness about the signs of hearing loss, how hearing aids and assistive equipment can help and the best ways to communicate with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Alan Dalziel said: “We appreciate Michael Matheson’s support for our Hear to Inform and Connect service.

“We would like to engage with as many local community and social groups as possible to reach older residents in Falkirk district and provide reassurance that getting your hearing checked really is a straightforward process and highlight how hearing aids can bring great benefits for people who have their deafness diagnosed as early as possible.”

For more information about the service, email info.scotland@hearingloss.org.uk or call or text 07388 227407.