Better hearing

two older women outside talking

No matter how hard we try, hearing loss is a natural part of ageing. But it's not something you should ignore - there are some simple things you can do to ensure your hearing stays as good as it can.

Is my hearing getting worse?

It’s easy to take good hearing for granted. You probably know what it’s like to have ‘blocked’ ears with a bad cold – everything sounds muffled and you may have to ask people to repeat things. Fortunately, hearing usually returns to normal after a cold.

But, like many people, you might find it harder to hear as you get older. Gradual hearing loss is a natural part of ageing, although you may not notice it until you are in your 60s or 70s. More than half of people over the age of 60 have some sort of hearing loss. But surprisingly most people who could benefit from a hearing aid don’t have one.

Hearing checklist

Here is a checklist to help you decide. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions, you may have a hearing loss.

  • Do you have to turn up the television or radio more than you used to, or does your family complain that the sound is too loud?
  • Does it seem like people are mumbling, rather than speaking clearly?
  • Do you often find yourself asking people to repeat things?
  • Do you find it difficult to hear at social gatherings, in places of worship, or when there is some background noise, even though other people manage to have conversations?
  • Do you ever have difficulty hearing the doorbell or telephone ring, or hearing people on the telephone?
  • Do you ever miss your name being called: for example, at the doctor’s surgery?

Who to contact

If you’re concerned about your hearing, your GP can check to see whether there is a medical reason for your problem.

If necessary, they can refer you for a hearing test. Speak to your GP if you are concerned about your hearing.

You could also check your hearing using Action on Hearing Loss’ telephone hearing check by calling 0844 800 3838.

You can also visit the Action on Hearing Loss website for more information and advice

opens link in new window IG24: Healthy Living guide (PDF 758KB)

Advice line:
08000 223 444

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