OLDHAMERS are being urged to "love their hearing" for Valentine's Day following concerns that people can become lonely because of hearing issues.

Statistics show that one in six people have some degree of hearing loss but only around 40% of those who need hearing aids have them.

As well as affecting their quality of life, left unchecked, poor hearing can lead to social isolation and depression.

Scrivens Opticians & Hearing Care on Royton's Market Square has made a heartfelt plea to encourage people to have their hearing checked.

Branch manager Liz Watson said: “It’s time to give your hearing some love and look after your hearing, just as you would your eyes or teeth, by having regular check-ups. With free NHS hearing tests and digital hearing aids available on the high street, help is more accessible than ever.

“Hearing loss can cut people off from family and friends and make social situations more difficult. They may then become isolated and be more prone to feelings of loneliness.

“Although hearing loss cannot be cured it can be treated and improve the quality of life. Advances in technology have significantly improved hearing aids which are smaller and more effective and will make a real difference.”

Scrivens recommend an annual hearing health check for anyone over 50 to identify any changes and see what action is needed.

It provides a free NHS hearing service for people who are eligible and have been referred by their GP. It includes a comprehensive hearing assessment, fitting of digital hearing aids where required, ongoing aftercare support and a regular supply of batteries.