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Helping someone with hearing loss

Hearing loss doesn't just affect an individual, but everyone around them too. Their family and friends will also feel the benefits when they seek treatment. On this page you can learn how to help your loved one on their journey to healthy hearing.

6 signs your loved one has hearing loss

Do you recognise any of these symptoms in a friend or loved one?

Take a moment to familiarise yourself with the signs of hearing loss so you can better help your loved one on their journey to better hearing.

Number 1
Difficulty following conversations
They have difficulty following conversations in groups, or when background noise is present
Number 2
Phone conversations are unclear
They have trouble following phone conversations in both quiet and noisy places
Number 3
They ask others to repeat themselves
They complain that they can't hear others clearly, or that other people seem to be mumbling
Number 4
Difficulty locating sounds
They have difficulty locating where sounds are coming from
Number 5
Signs of tinnitus
They experience ringing or buzzing sounds in their ears (tinnitus)
Number 6
Turning up the TV too loud
They have the TV volume too loud
Woman is suffering from hearing loss at a family dinner

Behaviour changes can be a sign of hearing loss

If someone you know is suffering from untreated hearing loss, you might notice some changes in their behaviour. These may include:

  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Feelings of shame, guilt or anger
  • Becoming self-critical, frustrated and depressed

When to seek help for hearing loss

How to help someone with hearing loss

Here are three ways you can help your loved one take the first step towards better hearing
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Study the signs of hearing loss together
Signs of hearing loss
Take our quick and easy online hearing test
Take online hearing test
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Book a free hearing test with one of our hearing care experts
Book a hearing test

Protect your long-term health – Book a free hearing test

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helping someone with hearing loss

Consequences of untreated hearing loss

Your loved one might be unaware of the effects of their potential hearing loss. You can tell them about the benefits of seeking hearing care early. Leaving hearing loss untreated could lead to:

  • Increased mental load
  • Social isolation and depression
  • Poor balance and fall-related injuries
  • Increased risk of developing dementia

Consequences of untreated hearing loss

6 benefits of treating hearing loss

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1. Hear clearly in most situations and enjoy life more
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2. Be able to participate in conversations again
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3. Avoid the stress and discomfort caused by impaired hearing
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4. Avoid having to ask people to repeat themselves
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5. Hear phone conversations effortlessly
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6. Listen to the TV at the same volume as other people around you

7 habits for good communication

There are a number of ways to make it easier to communicate with those suffering from hearing loss. Follow these seven habits for clearer communication:

  1. Get the person’s attention before speaking so that they’re looking at you. They'll be able to focus on what you’re saying.
  2. Speak clearly and at a natural pace; don’t shout.
  3. Move closer and sit where your face is lit, so that your facial expressions are easy to read.
  4. Try not to talk while chewing or smoking. Don't hide your mouth or chin when you speak speaking.
  5. Reduce background noise – turn down the music or TV. Or find somewhere quiet to talk.
  6. If you are in a group, try not to interrupt each other.
  7. Instead of repeating yourself, try to rephrase the sentence.

Tips for talking to a friend about hearing loss


1. Amieva, H., Ouvrard, C., Meillon, C., Rullier, L., & Dartigues, J. (2018, January 03). Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated With Self-reported Hearing Problems: A 25-Year Study. Retrieved from

2. Lin, F. R.. (2011, February 1). Hearing Loss and Incident Dementia. Archives of Neurology.

3. Lin, F. R., & Ferrucci, L. (2012). Hearing loss and falls among older adults in the United States. Archives of internal medicine, 172(4), 369–371.

4. Rönnberg J;Lunner T;Zekveld A;Sörqvist P;Danielsson H;Lyxell B;Dahlström O;Signoret C;Stenfelt S;Pichora-Fuller MK;Rudner M;. (n.d.). The Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model: Theoretical, empirical, and clinical advances. Retrieved from