How do I know if I have hearing loss?

Ask us about hearing loss

We've been helping people with hearing difficulties for well over 130 years. So when it comes to getting advice about hearing loss, there’s no one better to ask than the experts at Mary Hare Hearing Centre.


What are the causes and types of hearing loss?

There are several different causes. The main ones include ageing, excessive noise, infections, genetics, birth defects, infections of the head or ear and reaction to certain medication.


There are 3 types of hearing loss.

  1. Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type. It occurs when the inner ear hair cells (and acoustic nerves) are damaged and don’t properly transmit auditory signals to the brain. This type of hearing loss can only be treated with hearing aids.
  2. Conductive hearing loss is usually the result of malfunctions or obstructions in the outer or middle ear. Conductive hearing loss can sometimes be treated medically or surgically.
  3. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.


The early signs of hearing loss

Many of us don't notice the early signs of hearing loss because we slowly adjust to the change. Some of the common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Asking others to repeat themselves
  • Turning up the TV or radio to volume levels others find loud
  • People telling you that you speak loudly
  • Having difficulty hearing women and children's voices
  • Having trouble understanding conversation in noisy places
  • Feeling like other people mumble or slur their words
  • Avoiding social situations that were once enjoyable

Very rarely does hearing loss mean living in a quiet world. You may hear lots of sounds around you and be able to have one-to-one conversations. But don't let this fool you into thinking that your hearing is as good as it once was. 


Hearing loss doesn't just affect you

Many people with untreated hearing loss wrongly assume it only affects them, but it can also have a direct affect on those who are closest to you. This can cause:

  • Frustration - the need to constantly repeat themselves
  • Misunderstanding - your withdrawal from people and activities could be interpreted as rudeness or disinterest in others
  • Concern - others may worry you're unable to hear warning sounds such as smoke detectors, alarms or sirens
  • Confusion - if you answer a different question to the one they asked or don't respond at all when you're having a conversation


Time to take action

Hearing loss can happen at any time, at any age. Most people with hearing loss (65%) are actually younger than 65. On average, people wait 10 years between first noticing their hearing loss and finally taking action. But the sooner you do something about it the better.

Over time, reduced stimulation to your ears and brain can actually impair the brain’s ability to process sound and recognise speech. The more speech recognition deteriorates, the more difficult it is to recover. And when you can’t hear what’s going on around you, your mental sharpness suffers.

Other ways hearing loss can impact your life include:

  • Diminished psychological and overall health
  • Impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks
  • Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety (falls)
  • Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations
  • Social rejection and loneliness
  • Fatigue, tension, stress and depression
  • Irritability, negativism and anger
  • Reduced job performance and earning power

The quicker you take action, by booking a free initial hearing assessment with the experts at Mary Hare Hearing Centre, the sooner you put a stop to the negative effects of hearing loss and begin to regain sharpness, confidence and control.


Book your free initial hearing assessment

If you’d like to book a free initial hearing assessment with one of our expert audiologists call us on 01635 523 343 or email us at


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