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Living with hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common condition affecting 12 million UK adults and 1.5 billion people worldwide. Learn to recognise the signs of hearing loss, understand your treatment options and how you can help someone with a hearing loss.

Recognise the signs of hearing loss

Treating hearing loss as early as possible can have a profound, positive impact on your overall quality of life. It can even have a positive effect on your long-term health. We recommend that you seek help as soon as you begin to recognise common hearing loss symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty following group conversations
  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • People around you seeming to mumble or talk softly
  • Having to turn up the TV, radio or phone volume to hear properly
  • Difficulty hearing what people are saying if they don't look directly at you
  • Feeling tired at the end of the day from straining to hear

How to handle the symptoms of hearing loss

If you or a loved one is showing signs of hearing loss, we advise that you come to a free consultation at one of our Hidden Hearing clinics.

At your free hearing appointment – which will last about an hour – we'll be able to find out:

  • Whether you have hearing loss
  • Your level of hearing loss
  • What treatment options are available to you

You can also start out by taking our online hearing test. It'll take about five minutes and will give you an idea of whether you're showing signs of hearing loss.

Book a free hearing test

Image shows a woman taking a hearing test

Living with untreated hearing loss

You might be making small adjustments in your daily life to compensate for hearing loss. For example, you might start going to fewer social activities. This withdrawal can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. 

But you don’t have to accept the negative lifestyle changes that untreated hearing loss can have. You can receive treatment for your hearing loss so that you can communicate freely and participate in the things you love again. 

The first step towards better hearing is getting a hearing test in a hearing clinic. Hearing tests are free of charge in all our clinics.

Steps to better hearing Untreated hearing loss

How to help someone with hearing loss

It can be difficult to talk to a friend or loved one about hearing loss. It’s important to find a good time to have the conversation. Be mindful of the fact that it may be a sensitive topic for them. 

They may be experiencing low confidence as a result of their hearing loss. So with this in mind, be understanding and supportive in your approach. Here are a few tips for talking to someone about hearing loss: 

  • Prepare yourself for the conversation
  • Find a comfortable place to talk
  • Show compassion and support
  • Help them take one step in the right direction that will get them closer to treatment

Learn how hearing aids improved Sandra’s life

“Embracing my hearing has been one of the best things for me, my family and my career.

It’s just improved year on year since I’ve had my new hearing aids.”

Book a free hearing test

Audio Visual
My hearing loss came when I was 38, it was quite a shock really. Sandra is walking through a reception area.
My husband at the time kept saying to me, “I’m talking to you, you’re not listening to me.” Sandra is shown sitting against a wall with a flowered pattern. She looks into the camera and is laughing.
And it started off as a mild hearing loss but in the last 20 years now it’s literally gone like that [motions a steep decline with hand]. I wanted to train to be a teacher. I’d gone back to do an IT access course. I couldn’t hear what the teacher when they were writing, when he had his back to me writing on the board, or any of the students in front of me, so I had to change tack.

It affected my family life, I think… the children – especially my middle son, he’s got such a soft voice. One of the things I used to despair at more than anything was when you had to ask them to repeat themselves and they’d say, “It’s alright Mum, it’s fine, doesn’t matter.” Well it does matter, you do want to be part of their conversation and I used to find that very upsetting. I’ve done a lot of nodding in the right places and sometimes you get caught out because it doesn’t always work.

I wanted to go to a networking meeting, but the thought of doing… They used to do these “you have to talk about yourself for a minute”. I couldn’t make out what the lady was asking me in front.
Sandra is now sitting on a sofa in a grand reception room while she is talking to us.
I thought: “there’s got to be something better out there that can help me,” and that’s where I discovered Hidden Hearing. Sandra is engaging lively conversation. She is sitting across a table from another lady in a dining room.
I think the service and support that I’ve got from Hidden Hearing has been first class, explaining why you should wear you hearing aids every day, and they check to make sure you’re getting on with them, if there’s anything that might need tweaking. Sandra is sitting in the grand reception room.

Sandra is again show engaging in conversation in a dining room. 

Being told that you need to wear hearing aids every day for your brain to adjust and get used to them. Sandra is laughing at what is being said by her companion in the dining room.

Sandra is again sitting in the grand reception room.

Well the hearing aids that I wear now are Oticon Opn and they’re more discreet, you’ve got tiny, tiny tubes that run down the side here [motions to ear]. For the first time ever I now wear my hair up so, you know, I can literally wear my hair up and I don’t feel ashamed. I used to feel ashamed of big thick tubes, so they’re quite discreet and the clarity’s wonderful with them. The camera is now focusing on Sandra’s hair from behind. She is pulling her hair up into a ponytail. Holding her hair with left hand, she is motioning to her right ear, gesturing to where the tubes on her old hearing aid would have been on the outside of her ear.
 With my hearing aids and my mobile phone – I absolutely love it – the fact that it’s all Bluetoothed into your ears. Embracing my hearing has been one of the best things for me, my family and my career. It’s just improved year on year since I’ve had my new hearing aids. I’ve now gone from a team of - I had three, I think, three years ago to, I think, we’re up to 67. The best thing about switching my life on with my newfound hearing is I’ve got my confidence back. I’ve got my wiggle back – that’s how I see it – and I’m loving life again. Sandra is sitting in a dining room, talking with a male and female companion. 

Sandra is sitting in the grand reception room.

  Screen fades to white and then the Hidden Hearing logo appears.

What can you do to help

You can read more tips about helping a loved one address their potential hearing loss.
Help someone with hearing loss

Another easy first step is taking a quick online test which will help give you an idea of how well you can hear.
Take online hearing test

But in most cases, the next step will be to get your friend or loved one to book a hearing test in a hearing clinic. This will help them to get a better understanding of both the level and type of hearing loss.

Image shows man talking on the phone sitting on the sofa

Get help for hearing loss: Book a free hearing test

If you recognise hearing loss symptoms (such as having trouble hearing conversations or turning up the TV louder than normal), we suggest that you get expert advice by booking an appointment

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Have you had a hearing test within the last two years?

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How to test your hearing for free

We offer free hearing tests, regardless of whether you're an existing Hidden Hearing customer. Just find your nearest clinic where you can book your free hearing test. When we test your hearing, you'll get:

  • A consultation with a registered hearing care expert
  • A thorough hearing test with same-day results
  • Shown a selection of high-quality hearing aids from multiple brands
  • A 60-day money-back guarantee on hearing aids
  • Flexible payment plans
  • Lifetime aftercare

Book a free hearing test

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We're here to help you hear better

Modern hearing aids are more effective than ever before in significantly improving hearing ability although they don't restore your hearing completely. 

But they can come close. You can expect to hear significantly better than you would without hearing aids. 
And hearing aids have been shown to improve quality of life, self-confidence, and social engagement. 

Try for 60 risk-free days Life-changing hearing aids

The hidden risks of hearing loss

Hearing loss affects people in different ways. Many studies, however, have linked untreated hearing loss to a number of negative emotional and social effects, including:

  • Less social interaction, loneliness
  • Weakened memory and a decreased ability to learn new tasks 
  • Reduced performance at work or school
  • Tiredness, worry, stress and depression 
  • Reduced awareness and an increased risk to personal safety (for example, while driving)
  • Increased risk of cognitive decline

Hearing loss and dementia

Sources

1. G Livingston, Jonathan Huntley, Andrew Sommerlad, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. The Lancet. July 30, 2020.
2. 10., Marketrak. 'Marketing Research, Inc.'.
3. https://www.who.int/health-topics/hearing-loss#tab=tab_2
https://betterhearing.org/HIA/assets/File/public/marketrak/MarkeTrak_VII_The_Impact_of_Untreated_Hearing_Loss_on_Household_Income.pdf
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21320988/
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4075051/
6. https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/world-report-on-hearing