Eamonn Holmes: ‘No one warned me about hearing loss at 50 – or its link to dementia’

  • Hearing Care   •   May,21 2018

“I realised I was struggling to hear properly… I was saying ‘Excuse Me’, ‘Pardon’ and ‘What was that?’ far too often.”

Eamonn Holmes feels “liberated” wearing hearing aids.

The 58-year-old TV presenter feels “frustrated” if he forgets to put the hearing aids into his ears despite initially having to “pluck up the courage” to wear them, and is now keen to raise awareness of a potential link between dementia and hearing loss.

He said: “These days, I’m frustrated when I don’t have my aids with me. I feel liberated by them.

The “This Morning” co-host was left “shocked” by the recent deaths of TV presenter Dale Winton, aged 68, and former footballer Ray Wilkins, 61, and while Eamonn is in “a bit of a hurry” to see more of the world as a result, he doesn’t want to slow down his work any time soon.

He said: “I look back at the last 38 years and think, “Where did that go?” I don’t feel any older than 25.

“You get these big shocks. Dale Winton, Ray Wilkins, Eric Bristow have all died in the past few weeks at the age of 60 or thereabouts. My own father died at 64, of a heart attack.

“It puts you in a bit of a hurry to do things – see the Northern Lights, the Rio carnival, Mount Rushmore and have a look around Washington DC.

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“I want to spend more time in Belfast. But if you are defined by what you do, if you suddenly stop, who are you really?

“Of course there is a mano-pause. There is a natural decline. And I’m not a superman. But I have a positivity, a lust for life.

“I don’t feel that I want to slow up.”

Eamonn, who underwent a double hip replacement in 2016, also ensures he tells his wife and fellow “This Morning” co-presenter Ruth Langsford that he is “in awe of her” on a daily basis.

He added to the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “I write her love letters in texts every day.

“I wouldn’t be shy of telling her or telling anyone they look well, or brighten up a room.

“You need to pay each other attention. Ruth is a strong person, she is no one’s fool.

“We can bicker and row like anyone but deep down, we are sound as a pound because we have mutual respect. Every day, I tell her I’m in awe of her.”

Eamonn wants to raise awareness of a link between hearing loss and dementia, as even those with even mild hearing loss are twice as likely to develop the disease. Holmes has seen dementia first-hand: his wife’s father died of it. Until an audiologist told Eamonn of the connection he had no idea.

“Early intervention in so many conditions can either prevent decline, or preserve better health for longer.”

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