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How Hearing Loss Can Affect Everyday Life - Find out how to get the help you need

Kimberley Bradshaw - Head of Marketing
Written By:
Kimberley Bradshaw

Head of Customer Content Experience

Paul Harrison Hearing Aid UK Founder & Audiologist
Medically Reviewed By:
Paul Harrison

Audiology Expert & Founder

Updated: 18th October 2023
How Hearing Loss Can Affect Everyday Life

How does hearing loss affect everyday life?

 It’s easy to take our hearing for granted but when something does go wrong it can dramatically affect our lives


Don't wait for hearing loss to affect your life - Find out how to get the help you need

It’s easy to take our hearing for granted but when something does go wrong it can dramatically affect our day to day lives. The negative impact on work life and social life, loss of confidence and impacted relationships all result in reduced quality of life.

However, help is at hand! Once hearing loss has been identified and formally diagnosed, treatment can begin and the quality of life lost can be regained. Read on for the symptoms, effects on daily life and how those with hearing loss can be treated and supported in their everyday lives.


Family read a children's book together

 How hearing loss can affect everyday life

Hearing loss signs


Difficulty communicating

Hearing loss can make it difficult to understand what others are saying, especially in noisy environments. This can lead to misunderstandings, social isolation, and even depression.

There are typical symptoms we expect to notice with hearing loss, the obvious being muffled hearing or ringing in the ears, usually associated with tinnitus. However, hearing loss may not be sudden onset but rather a slow progression. So, although you might expect someone to clearly notice they are losing their hearing, often it can be friends or loved ones who spot the signs first.

Whether they are asking people to repeat themselves or misunderstanding conversations, struggling on the phone or having the volume on the TV higher than normal, it is easy to try to carry on as usual without realising the effect it is having on everyday life, the result of which can be detrimental to both physical and emotional well-being.

From a safety point fo view, hearing loss can make it difficult to hear alarms, sirens, and other warning signals. This can put you in danger in situations such as driving, crossing the street, or using public transportation.


Couple watch television

 How can hearing loss affect your confidence?

Hearing loss and its impact on self-esteem


The emotional impact of hearing loss

Hearing loss can cause feelings of frustration, anxiety, depression and can lead to social isolation.  Emotional problems can arise caused by a drop in self-esteem and confidence.

Many people struggle to accept their hearing loss and may initially be in denial. Some may feel they have lost a part of their identity or be resistant to the perceived cost or inconvenience of hearing aids as they aren’t familiar with the technology.

Unlike the hearing loss of hearing in a child, who may have grown up using hearing aids, adapting their way of life and coping mechanisms from a young age, for adults newly facing hearing the challenges can be daunting.


man looks worried as people chat behind him

 Can hearing loss affect work life?

Hearing loss in the workplace


Reduced job performance

Hearing loss can make it difficult to communicate with colleagues and customers, leading to a decrease in job performance and job satisfaction.  People with hearing loss can unfortunately experience access to fewer educational and job opportunities due to impaired communication.

Their work may also suffer, and, although employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for those with hearing impairment, they can only make the appropriate accommodations with the correct information.

A professional diagnosis can help both the employer and employee navigate the workplace to ensure support and equal opportunities are available for those with hearing loss.


Lady holds her head in her hand at her desk

Can hearing loss cause other health problems?

Negative physical impacts of hearing loss


The health problems caused by hearing loss

Hearing loss can cause other unexpected health problems, for example, undiagnosed problems with the ears can also cause balance issues and dizziness. The ‘ringing’ in the ears associated with tinnitus has been known to cause insomnia.

Another physical effect reported is fatigue, feeling tired and stressed from having to concentrate harder than normal on listening, which can also compound a lower mood and worsen social withdrawal.

Studies have also shown that hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia. This may be because the brain has to work harder to process sounds, which can lead to mental fatigue and decreased cognitive function.


Older man sits on edge of bed

How can I help someone with hearing loss?

How to support someone with hearing loss in their day-to-day life


Our tips for supporting our loved ones with hearing loss

Relationships can become strained if you have hearing loss.  Hearing loss can make it difficult to communicate with family and friends, leading to misunderstandings and strained relationships.  But, through educational awareness, understanding and trust - all can work together to find the right audiologist and treatment.

Your friend or loved one has just been diagnosed with hearing loss. It’s important to remember in addition to dealing with a life-altering condition, the condition itself may have isolated them from the very support network that would help them manage their new situation. So, what can you do to help?


For friends and relatives:

  • When talking try to remember to face your friend or loved one
  • Be patient! Getting used to hearing aids, ensuring levels and fit are correct can take time
  • Choose quieter places to meet such as smaller cafes over loud bars
  • Offer to accompany them to audiology appointments or assist with technology if they are finding all the new information overwhelming


For employers:

  • Check out the wide range of assistive technologies available
  • Provide a quiet working space
  • Consider a hearing loop
  • Be accommodating for audiology appointments


two people hold hands

Can you lead a normal life with hearing loss?

 Hearing loss treatment


How to seek professional help with your hearing loss

Yes, it is possible to live a normal life with hearing loss! Regain control of your hearing health, don’t miss out on conversations again and see the improvement in both mental and physical health. Access hearing loss treatment by taking advantage of our free hearing tests in the convenience of your own home.

With a proper diagnosis from our audiologists we will support you throughout your hearing loss journey, we can help you choose the best hearing aids for your situation and offer a comprehensive aftercare service. The negative impacts of hearing loss no longer need to affect your day to day, life whether it’s at work life, home life or social life we’ve got you covered.


 Older couple smile on the sofa

In conclusion

Hearing loss can have a significant impact on your everyday life.  Therefore, it is important to seek treatment for hearing loss to improve your quality of life and avoid the negative consequences of untreated hearing loss.


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Read Next:

►Types of Hearing Loss

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This article was written by Kimberley Bradshaw

Meet Kimberley Bradshaw , Head of Customer Content Experience

By working closely with the Hearing Aid UK audiologists, experts and advisers, she develops the online content, so that the customer's experience is the best it can be. 

Kimberley's medical representation has allowed her to focus on the importance of hearing healthcare and explore the many ways in which hearing loss and its awareness can be improved.

She has collaborated and written about hearing healthcare for several online publications.

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Common FAQs about hearing aids and hearing loss

Is this the best model for me?

If you are looking at this page then it is likely that an audiologist has suggested that you purchase this particular hearing aid, so is this the best model for you?

In general, any audiologist will always be recommending to you the model that best suits your needs. Here is a useful check list to make sure that is the case.

  • Audiologist level of knowledge. The audiologist you have seen will hopefully have a wide knowledge of all available hearing aids, however some will only be familiar with a small number of brands and therefore may not really be in a position to know which model is the best for you. It is OK to challenge their recommendation and ask them to justify why this particular brand is the one for you.
  • Do research. Read about the hearing aid that was recommended. Does it seem like it will suit your lifestyle? Does it have more or less features than you need? 
  • Be aware of sales targets. Many high street retailers have specific tie-ins to a particular manufacturer/brand. The hearing aid they have suggested may still be the correct one for you, but do your research so that you know why they might have recommended it.

If in doubt, feel free to give us a call. That's what we're here for.

Do I need one hearing aid or two?

If you have a significant hearing loss in both ears, you should be wearing two hearing aids. Here are the audiological reasons why:

Localisation. The brain decodes information from both ears and compares and contrasts them. By analysing the miniscule time delays as well as the difference in loudness of each sound reaching the ears, the person is able to accurately locate a sound source. Simply put, if you have better hearing on one side than the other, you can't accurately tell what direction sounds are coming from.

Less amplification required. A phenomena known as “binaural summation” means that the hearing aids can be set at a lower and more natural volume setting than than if you wore only one hearing aid.

Head shadow effect. High frequencies, the part of your hearing that gives clarity and meaning to speech sounds, cannot bend around your head. Only low frequencies can. Therefore if someone is talking on your unaided side you are likely to hear that they are speaking, but be unable to tell what they have said.

Noise reduction. The brain has it’s own built in noise reduction which is only really effective when it is receiving information from both ears. If only one ear is aided, even with the best hearing aid in the world, it will be difficult for you to hear in background noise as your brain is trying to retain all of the sounds (including background noise) rather than filtering it out.

Sound quality. We are designed to hear in stereo. Only hearing from one side sounds a lot less natural to us.

What are the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids?

For most people, the main benefit of a rechargeable hearing aid is simple convenience. We are used to plugging in our phones and other devices overnight for them to charge up. 

For anybody with poor dexterity or issues with their fingers, having a rechargeable aid makes a huge difference as normal hearing aid batteries are quite small and some people find them fiddly to change.

One downside is that if you forget to charge your hearing aid, then it is a problem that can't be instantly fixed. For most a 30 minute charge will get you at least two or three hours of hearing, but if you are the type of person who is likely to forget to plug them in regularly then you're probably better off with standard batteries.

Rechargeable aids are also a little bit bigger and are only available in behind the ear models.

Finally, just like with a mobile phone, the amount of charge you get on day one is not going to be the same as you get a few years down the line. Be sure to ask what the policy is with the manufacturer warranty when it comes to replacing the battery.


Are behind the ear aids better than in the ear aids?

For most people, the answer is yes. But it's never that simple.

The majority of hearing problems affect the high frequencies a lot more than the low ones. Therefore open fitting hearing aids sound a lot more natural and ones that block your ears up can make your own voice sound like you are talking with your head in a bucket. Therefore in-ear aids tend to be less natural.

However the true answer is we can't tell until we have had a look in your ears to assess the size of your ear canal, and until we have tested your hearing to see which frequencies are being affected.

People with wider ear canals tend to have more flexibility, also there are open fitting modular CIC hearing aids now that do not block your ears.

There is also the age old rule to consider, that a hearing aid will not help you if it's sat in the drawer gathering dust. If the only hearing aid you would be happy wearing is one that people can't see, then that's what you should get.

Most people can adapt to any type of hearing aid, as long as they know what to expect. Have an honest conversation with your audiologist as to what your needs are.

What are channels, and how many do I need?

Generally speaking, six or more. Unless it's none at all.

The number of channels a hearing aid has is often a simplistic way an audiologist will use to explain why one hearing aid is better than another, but channels are complex and it is really not that straightforward.

Hearing aids amplify sounds of different frequencies by different amounts. Most people have lost more high frequencies than low and therefore need more amplification in the high frequencies. The range of sounds you hear are split into frequency bands or channels and the hearing aids are set to provide the right amount of hearing at each frequency level.

Less than six channels and this cannot be done with much accuracy, so six is the magic number. However, a six channel aid is typically very basic with few other features and is suitable only for hearing a single speaker in a quiet room. The number of channels is not what you should be looking at, it's more the rest of the technology that comes with them.

As a final note, different manufacturers have different approaches. One method is not necessarily better than any other. For example some manufacturers have as many as 64 channels in their top aids. Most tend to have between 17 and 20. One manufacturer has no channels at all.

Where can I get the hearing aids covered?

Hearing aids are easily lost, misplaced or damaged and typically are one of the most expensive personal possessions an individual can own. We offer hearing aid warranty cover for £80 per year per aid.  Find out more here

How much does the hearing test cost?

All our audiologists use the very latest technology and provide the full range of tests to accurately measure your hearing for free.  Find out about what we offer all our customers here

Do home visits cost extra?

Hearing Aid UK offers all their customers free home visiting services and home visits for hearing aids - Including hearing tests, fittings, maintenance, check-ups and much more in the comfort of your own home and at your convenience.  Find out more information here

How come you're much cheaper than other places?

Here, at Hearing Aid UK, we are dedicated to offering low hearing aid prices. We achieve this by having no head office and low marketing costs.   Our hearing aid prices are amongst the lowest you will find anywhere in the world.

Need advice? Give our hearing aid experts a call for FREE

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