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What to do if you lose your hearing

Hearing loss can happen gradually, so you may not notice it at first.

Sudden hearing loss

If you suddenly lose hearing in one or both ears, you should contact NHS 111 or your GP as soon as possible. You could also visit your nearest urgent treatment centre.

Your hearing loss might not be serious, but it could be a medical emergency. If this is the case, there is a very short window of time for treatment to successfully restore hearing.

Gradual hearing loss

If you think you think you might have hearing loss, you should get a hearing test.

Most audiology services were put on hold during the coronavirus outbreak, this included non-urgent hearing tests. We know many providers are now trying to resume face to face appointments where they can.

There is a lot of variation across the UK and it is likely there will be longer waiting times for these appointments but do contact your hearing aid provider if you’re concerned about your hearing.

You can try some communication tips to make conversations easier until you can have a hearing test.

You can also speak to our Information Line for guidance and support.

Signs of hearing loss

There are some common signs of hearing loss to be aware of. You may have hearing loss if you:

  • turn the TV up louder than your family wants it
  • find it hard to follow conversation in pubs and restaurants
  • struggle to hear on the phone
  • often ask people to repeat what they say
  • find your partner complain that you don’t listen to them
  • feel that other people mumble.

What to do if you think you have hearing loss

The best way to find out if you have hearing loss is to have a hearing test.

If you also hear sounds like ringing or whistling inside your head or ears, this could be tinnitus. Tinnitus is often, but not always, linked to hearing loss.