I’m going deaf. Help!

There are a number of signs of hearing loss – from having to turn up the television, not understanding conversations, to having to concentrate hard to understand what people are saying or not being able to differentiate sounds in a noisy environment.

The most important thing to do is speak to someone about it.

Did you know that from the first time people realise that they might be suffering hearing loss, it takes on average 10 years before they ask for help?

The earlier you take control of your hearing loss, the easier it can be to manage.

So don’t delay. Book yourself in for a hearing test at your local optician or pharmacy, or speak to your doctor.

How common is hearing loss in the UK?

1 in 6 adults in the UK are affected by hearing loss – that’s approximately 11 million people. It’s estimated that by 2035, 1 in 5 people, or 15.6 million people will have some sort of hearing loss.

What is the cause of hearing loss?

There are many different causes of hearing loss. You can lose your hearing in one ear or both. Causes can include:

  • Earwax
  • Infection
  • Certain medications
  • Burst eardrum
  • Taking certain medications
  • Sudden or continual exposure to loud noises
  • Certain conditions such as Ménière’s disease
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Hereditary hearing loss
  • An obstruction in the ear – either natural or foreign
  • Another illness or ailment such as stroke
  • Certain illegal drugs or substances

Your doctor or audiologist will help to diagnose the reason for your hearing loss and will help to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

I keep seeing it written as D/deaf. What does this mean?

People who are deaf (lower case ‘d’) have hearing loss which may be because they’re born deaf or have become deaf. They integrate in the hearing world and may communicate orally and/or be users of BSL (British Sign Language). Those who refer to themselves as Deaf (upper case ‘D’) are members of the Deaf community. They communicate almost exclusively with BSL /sign language and are ingrained with Deaf culture.

So D/deaf is a way to encompass deaf and Deaf people.

I’m hearing a ringing in my ears. Is this tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the name for hearing sounds – such as ringing, hissing, whooshing, humming – that are not from the outside world.

You can hear them in one or both ears, or inside your head.

There are many causes of tinnitus and it may go away by itself or may be with you long term.

If you experience tinnitus then speak to your doctor.

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