Hearing Link

New to hearing loss

Man and woman using a mobile and laptop

Worried about your hearing? Not sure what to do, where to go or who to talk to? However your hearing has been affected, we’re here to help. Whether your hearing loss is mild or profound, gradual or sudden, there is information on our website available to you.

Hearing loss is defined as ‘a decrease in a person’s sensitivity to sound’. Put simply, you don’t hear as well as you did.

  • It has four clinical levels (mild, moderate, severe, and profound).
  • It can happen gradually or suddenly.
  • It can affect one or both ears.
  • It can develop with age, as a result of repeated exposure to loud noise or for other reasons, like illness.

It’s not always easy to tell when hearing loss is happening. Sometimes when people begin to lose their hearing, they can still get by. They might not even realise that some things are becoming more of a struggle. It’s possible that people around you might recognise the signs before you notice them yourself.

Facing up to change can be a bit daunting and it’s natural to hope the problem lies elsewhere. But it’s worth considering whether your hearing has changed. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you’ll find there are lots of things you can do to make life easier.

Video: do you think you have a hearing loss?

Thanks to Hear-it

Please read the information in the table below, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for or would like to discuss your query or concern, please contact our Helpdesk. Alternatively, you may wish to ask your question on our Facebook page where our volunteers and members will give you first hand advice using their personal experience.

Where to start?

I’m worried about my hearing but haven’t had a hearing test yet. Where to get your hearing tested
I’ve had a hearing test but I don’t really understand the audiogram. Hearing tests explained
I’ve have had my hearing tested but I didn’t understand the diagnosis. Our Helpdesk Responder Team have personal experience of hearing loss and they are ready to offer information, guidance and support.
I’ve gone suddenly deaf (in one or both ears), what should I do? Go to A&E and ask for an emergency referral to ENT immediately.
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What services do Hearing Link provide that could help me?

Our Helpdesk Responder Team have personal experience of hearing loss and they are ready to offer information, guidance and support.

Our network of Community Support Volunteers work in many parts of the UK. They provide personal and practical advice both to the individual who has hearing loss and also their family. They do this through visits, letters and emails.

Our programmes focus on useful strategies and techniques to enable people living with hearing loss to feel independent and more self confident. They are run by experienced trainers who themselves live with a hearing loss.

I want to know more about the causes of hearing loss Causes of hearing loss.
What type of hearing aid might help me? Information about hearing aids: how they work, different types, useful features.
I’ve been told I need hearing aids but I don’t want them. What else can I do? Lipreading and communication tips
I want to know how to protect my hearing. Protecting your hearing.
I have tinnitus (ringing/buzzing/pounding noises in my head/ears). Tinnitus: what causes it, how you can manage it, professional support.
I’m experiencing vertigo/dizziness/nausea. Balance: the balance system, causes of balance disorders, the connection with hearing loss, managing it.
I need to talk to someone about managing my hearing loss. If you feel you might benefit from talking to someone about your hearing loss and how it’s affecting you, ask your GP for a referral or ask us. Visit our counselling page.
How have other people coped?

Watch videos of Hearing Link members and volunteers talking about their experiences of hearing loss and the impact on their lives.

Sign up as a Hearing Link member and receive our feature magazine Hearing Link Matters with news, activities, and stories about living with hearing loss.

Have you anything that could help me tell people I need them to communicate clearly with me? Visit our shop for badges, stickers, cards, and our Personal Awareness Kit (ideal for making your communication needs known when you are away from home).
I want to know more about hearing loss and health. You can find out more about hearing loss from:

Any further information? Read our free Guide to living with hearing loss – useful for you, your family, friends and colleagues.

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