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Hearing Loss

Loss of hearing can be very concerning. To help keep you hearing better for longer we've created some helpful advice on the main causes of hearing loss and the potential signs to look out for. If you've noticed a change in your hearing it's important to book a free hearing health check with one of our trained professionals, who will be happy to help.


Hearing loss is the loss of hearing in one or both ears. Ranging from mild to profound, there are many causes, and it can affect anyone at any age, although if you're over 60 you may be at greater risk.

Hearing loss in any form is challenging and can have a negative impact on not only the sufferer but those around them. Because of this, it's important to keep an eye out for the signs of hearing loss so you be alert to any problems you may experience with your hearing or the hearing of a loved one. 

In this article we will look at key information around hearing loss, the impact it can have and the benefits of early intervention. 
In most cases, hearing loss can be improved by wearing a hearing aid. Read on to find out more about hearing loss, its causes, and how hearing aids can help.  

What causes loss of hearing?

What are the first signs of hearing loss?
What happens when you have a hearing loss?
Can hearing loss be prevented?
What are the three types of hearing loss?
Frequently asked questions

What causes loss of hearing?

Hearing loss can be brought on by many things. Identifying the cause of your hearing loss may be the first step in treating it, or at least managing its effects.

Common causes of hearing loss include:

Age (being over 60 significantly spikes your chances)

Exposure to loud noises, such as attending a concert without ear protection

Ear infection

Perforated (burst) eardrum

Ménière’s disease

Family history

It's important to consult your doctor on any of the above. This will help guide any hearing loss treatment and create a management plan for you to follow. 

What are the first signs of hearing loss?

Because hearing loss can happen gradually, it’s not unusual for people to be living with symptoms for some time. With this in mind, it's important to be aware of the most common signs of hearing loss to help prevent any unnecessary suffering for you and your loved ones. 

Things to look out for include:

Difficulty hearing other people clearly

Trouble hearing whilst on the phone

Misunderstanding what is being said, especially in noisy places

Asking people to repeat themselves

Turning up the TV volume too loud for others

Withdrawal from conversations

A reluctance to socialise

If you notice any of these or are worried about any unusual changes, make an appointment to see your doctor immediately.

What happens when you have hearing loss?

Naturally, your first thought may be to panic when you realise you have a hearing loss, followed by feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration and hopelessness. Losing your hearing is a big loss and because of the social consequences, a hearing-impaired person will often retreat from social interactions. The problem is not just in the person’s inability to hear but also how badly they can handle being without such an integral part of their life.

Can hearing loss be prevented?

Hearing loss may happen as you get older, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can help slow down the process.

Some ways to prevent hearing loss include:

Avoid loud noises

Keep headphone volume low

Wear ear plugs or protective earmuffs

Use quieter products

Get your hearing tested

While it’s impossible to know whether your hearing is benefiting from these measures, ensuring precautions are taken will limit potentially harmful listening habits.

What are the three types of hearing loss?

Although hearing loss affects people in different ways, there are three main types to be aware of, with varying symptons. These include:

Conductive: This is when the passage of sound is blocked in either the ear canal or middle ear, usually due to an obstruction or trauma. It can affect one of both ears.

Sensorineural: Accounting for about 90% of reported hearing loss, this is the most common form of hearing loss and is due to nerve damage.

Mixed: A combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss, meaning there’s damage to both the outer and inner ear.

If you suspect any of the above, book yourself a free hearing health check here.

Frequently asked questions

Can hearing loss affect memory?

Hearing plays a major role in keeping your memory and brain sharp. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to impaired memory, balance issues and even dementia. This is why it’s important to make sure your hearing health is as well looked after as possible.

Can hearing loss be cured?

Hearing loss can be treated but not restored. Most of the time, a hearing aid will be the best solution.

Can hearing loss be genetic?

Those with a family history of hearing loss are more likely to experience it themselves. It’s important your doctor knows about any family history of hearing loss. You will most likely be referred on for additional testing and monitoring.

Can hearing loss cause headaches?

Headaches are a secondary symptom of hearing loss. Although hearing loss with headaches may also signal that you have an underlying ear condition. Book an appointment with your doctor to check there’s no problem.

Can hearing loss cause depression?

If left untreated, you can develop depression as a result of hearing loss. This is because adjusting to everyday life without one of the five senses often proves difficult, particularly if you are a sociable person. Speak to your GP about possible treatments for hearing loss.

Any kind of hearing loss is scary, but you don’t have to suffer alone. If you have a problem with hearing loss, get help from your doctor or a qualified audiologist.

Do you have any issues related to hearing loss? Arrange a consultation with a specialist at Boots Hearingcare to go through your case...