We all know someone with hearing loss, but do you know how to help them?

Hearing loss is really common. But many people struggle when it could be treated.

Know the signs

It's not always easy to tell if you're losing your hearing. Common signs include:

  • difficulty hearing other people clearly and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places.
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • listening to music or watching TV with the volume higher than other people need
  • difficulty hearing on the phone
  • finding it hard to keep up with a conversation
  • feeling tired or stressed because you’ve had to concentrate while listening

What can cause hearing loss?

There are lots of possible causes of hearing loss. It may be caused by something treatable, or it may be permanent.



Gradual hearing loss in both your ears

Difficulty hearing in one ear, earache, a feeling of pressure in your ear or discharge coming out of your ear

Difficulty hearing in one ear, itchiness, feeling like your ear is blocked

Sudden hearing loss after an infection, a very loud noise or a change in air pressure (for example, from flying)

Sudden hearing loss along with dizziness, a spinning sensation (vertigo) or ringing in your ears (tinnitus)

Possible cause


Ageing or damage from loud noise over many years

Ear infection

Earwax build up

Perforated eardrum

Labyrinthitis or Menieres disease

How do I talk to my friends who are deaf?

It can be really isolating for people who are loosing their hearing, but there are things you can do to help them.

  1. Get their attention. Try tapping their shoulder.
  2. Speak normally. Not too slowly or too loudly.
  3. Face them when you talk. Make sure they can see your mouth.
  4. Use your hands. Point at what you're talking about.
  5. Don’t give up. Try texting on your phone or writing a message down.


Do you have hearing loss, or know someone who has?

Do you get the support that you need?

Tell us your story here

Do you or someone you know suffer with hearing loss? Would you like to share your personal experiences of hearing loss/deafness or how your treatment went? We value all feedback, and you can share your experiences with us here

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