WHEN things go wrong with our eyesight or our teeth, we think nothing of going to the opticians or dentist to get to the root of the problem.

Yet, according to audiology specialists in Wilmslow, it’s quite a different story when it comes to our hearing.

Mum-of-two Vanessa Nadeem, who set up Hear Pure in Church Street more than two years ago, says it can take up to 10 years for a person experiencing hearing difficulties to speak up about their concerns.

Which is why the 48-year-old, who has first-hand experience of hearing loss, is encouraging people concerned about hearing impairment to come forward, especially as the festive season approaches.

Vanessa says celebrations such as Christmas can be particularly difficult for sufferers. While fine in a one to one situation, where they can lip read to fill in some of the gaps in conversation, they find themselves missing out in group situations because they can’t hear younger or female voices due to higher pitches.

She explained: “It’s not a case of the volume being turned down, but more that parts of words actually appear to be missing – so for the word ‘chair’ for example, they might hear only the ‘air’ part of the word.

“This leads to sufferers getting easily fatigued as they try to make sense of conversations. It can leave them feeling isolated and sometimes falling to depression and it’s said it can even lead to dementia.”

Yet it’s not just older people who can suffer. Hearing loss can hit at any age.

Vanessa said: “I had problems myself when I was in my early 30s. It was a difficult decision to make at such a young age, but I underwent surgery to correct otosclerosis.”

It’s due to her own experience that Vanessa was driven to set up the business, which provides tests and services for a range of hearing issues.

Vanessa said: “I just love working with people and I want to help them wherever I can. I’m passionate about helping people with hearing issues. Until you’ve been through it, or know someone who has, you don’t realise how vulnerable it can make a person, or how isolating it can be for them.”

Vanessa says one of the biggest issues concerning hearing loss is the stigma around wearing a hearing aid, yet she’s optimistic this is on the decline thanks to a generation of young people who are used to wearing earbuds.

She added: “We are getting there, especially with the younger generation, but I want to make hearing testing as normal as going to your optician or dentist.”