Hearing & hearing loss FAQs


1. How common is hearing loss?

Perhaps more common than you’d think! 10 million people in the UK alone (that’s 1 in 6 of us) live with some form of hearing loss. 6.4 million of these people are over 65 (as the most common form of hearing loss, presbycusis, is related to ageing); leaving 3.7 million aged 64 and under.

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2. How do I know if I have a hearing loss?

Symptoms of hearing loss often develop very gradually so it’s not always easy to spot right away. In fact, it’s often friends or family who will pick up on the signs first. These ‘signs’ can include: turning the television up louder than is comfortable for others, having to ask people to repeat themselves or struggling to follow conversations. If you suspect you're suffering from these, or similar symptoms, it may be worth speaking to those around you to see if they’ve noticed them too.

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3. What should I do if I think I have a hearing loss?

The best advice is to go and get it checked out. Some people opt to go to their GP who will then refer them to the hospital for an appointment, or you can choose to have a hearing test with a hearing care professional. At Boots our hearing tests are free of charge and can usually be arranged within just a few days; you can call 0845 270 1600 or book a free appointment online.

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4. Can ear wax cause hearing loss?

Hearing loss caused by an obstruction or blockage in the ear is called ‘conductive hearing loss’ and yes, this ‘blockage’ could be in the form of wax which prevents sounds getting through to the ear drum. There are several things you can do if you think wax is causing your hearing to appear dulled:

  • First step is to see a hearingcare professional or GP who can check your ears for the presence of wax. This service is offered free as part of a hearing test at Boots.
  • You can manage your wax levels by using a natural product like Earol; an olive oil based product that softens and helps naturally remove ear wax.

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5. Can hearing loss be cured?

There are some forms of conductive hearing loss that can be cured by medical treatment or surgery but the most common form - presbycusis (hearing loss due to degradation of sensory cells in the ear) can't be cured. This type of hearing loss can be treated, however, with the use of a hearing aid. To learn more about what a hearing aid could do for your hearing visit the hearing aid section of our site.

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