EastEnders’ Ben Mitchell set for ‘brain injury horror’ amid hearing loss

EastEnders ' Ben Mitchell is still coming to terms with the loss of his hearing, following his traumatic smack to the head during the boat party.

The gangster, played by Max Bowden, has seen his hearing disappear after the accident, leaving him battling deafness.

Sadly, Ben's heartbreak is only just beginning, as a brain injury expert predicted the "devastating" toll his hearing loss could have on his life.

Ipek Tugcu, Associate Solicitor at Bolt Burdon Kemp, investigated Ben's symptom's on the show, as his hearing rapidly worsens.

He explained: "In Ben's case, we know he's suffered a physical trauma which has caused the brain injury, after having a nasty knock to his head. His hearing loss could therefore either be due to damage to his ear or his brain, or a combination of the two."

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Therapy, hearing aids and getting to the root of the problem are the only ways Ben could recover some of his hearing, according to Tugcu.

He said: "Ben's ability to regain some of his hearing will depend totally on what has caused his hearing loss in the first place, and whether this can be treated – either through therapies or equipment."

Though Ben's boyfriend Callum Highway (Tony Clay) has proven supportive in recent scenes, Tugcu predicted Ben will spiral into a pattern of isolation – pushing loved ones away.

He said: "Hearing loss, whether partial or total, can be devastating for anyone.

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"We rely on our ability to hear in every aspect of our lives, whether it's to allow us to maintain our relationships with family and friends, to help us in our jobs, or even just in our day-to-day lives – watching television, listening to the radio or hearing alarms.

"To suddenly lose this would make anyone feel scared and low.

"For a young man like Ben, this is bound to have a huge impact on his confidence and his relationships. It may leave him feeling frustrated, angry and vulnerable, which could cause him to isolate himself and become depressed."

Will Ben and Callum's relationship survive the trauma?

Heartbreak aside, Tugcu praised EastEnders bosses for their commitment to the powerful storyline, portraying it in a sensitive and thoughtful light.

He explained: "It's fantastic that EastEnders are introducing such a powerful new storyline for Ben, where viewers will see him suffer hearing loss as a consequence of his brain injury.

"Brain injury is so common, and yet often so poorly understood."

EastEnders airs on BBC1 on Monday at 8pm, Tuesday at 7.30pm and Thursday at 7.30pm and Friday at 8pm

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