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Ben Mitchell (played by Max Bowden) was known for his hearing aids, and while he had slight difficulty picking up sound, earlier this year he lost his hearing completely. EastEnders aired a week-long series of special episodes which saw the tragic Thames boat accident and Sharon Mitchell’s (Letitia Dean) affair with Keanu Taylor (Danny Walters) reach a climax. But the aftermath revealed more than broken families, for Ben this was the start of a new way of living, and it seems he is going to have to make some big changes in order to adapt.
On Monday night, the popular BBC soap is going to air a special episode dedicated to Ben.
The instalment will be centred around the mechanic’s struggles with the deterioration of his hearing.
Viewers will tune in to see the day of Phil Mitchell’s (Steve McFadden) riskiest job arrive, and the episode will be set entirely from Ben’s perspective.
Those watching at home will experience limited audio levels and on-screen subtitles showing words and fractured sentences to reflect Ben’s hearing difficulties and some of the realities of being a deaf person in the UK today.
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Fans have already seen Ben try and come to terms with the aftermath of the Thames boat incident, but now more than even, he is determined to prove he’s capable of helping his dad with the biggest dodgy deal.
However, official soap spoilers have revealed they will find themselves making a deal with the devil, will Ben be in too deep?
The special episode will follow Ben as he grapples with recent events and finds himself in an unnerving situation which quickly spirals out of control.
But what is going to happen after the deal is done and Ben goes back to the normality of everyday life?
Specsavers conducted a recent survey and its findings revealed those with hearing loss are finding it harder than ever to stay in touch and connect during the coronavirus lockdown.
People living with hearing loss can feel isolated under normal circumstances – a third would rather avoid conversation than admit that they have the condition – but this vulnerability is being exacerbated as the lockdown takes its toll it continued.
Specsavers’ chief audiologist Gordon Harrison said: “People with hearing loss often rely on face-to-face interaction with family, friends and neighbours but as this can’t happen right now it’s important to find other ways to stay connected.
“It’s equally important to consider the difficulties that they may experience in trying to communicate with you, particularly when they’re not in the same room.”
Gordon offered some advice for those with hearing loss to ensure they still feel connected and revealed some changes which can be made to improve the standard of someone’s living.
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Should someone have hearing aids, you can connect them to other devices.
“Many hearing aids now have the technological capabilities to connect to smartphones, TVs and other devices around the house, acting like wireless headphones for clear and easy streaming of sound,” Specsavers revealed.
“Using this technology, wearers can make hands-free calls and will find it easier to listen to and watch their favourite television programmes, which can certainly help when they are unable to leave the house.
“Other cutting-edge hearing accessories include TV streamers, which can help you to enjoy clear sound from the TV or other audio devices, while still being able to take part in conversation with those around you.
“Remote controls, which can adjust volumes of hearing devices for those without a smartphone; and wireless microphones, which can be positioned around the home to help you hear more of everything.”
Viewers have seen Ben struggle with communicating recently, especially when it comes to his relationship with Callum Highway (Tony Clay).
Could making these small changes improve his everyday life significantly?
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Customers can now also book appointments for urgent and essential hearing services in the community.
In line with new guidelines, Specsavers audiologists have reintroduced key, lifeline audiology services, including hearing tests, hearing aid fittings and earwax removal, to anyone in urgent need of care.
Customers will need to request an appointment online here or call their local store first for advice and to be assessed on the level of care that they might need.
EastEnders airs Monday at 8pm and Tuesday at 7.30pm on BBC One.
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