NHS 70 years helping people with hearing loss

The ear canalThe UK's National Health Service (NHS) celebrates it's 70th birthday today. Among many of the varied roles it undertakes, it's has provided help, advice and treatment for thousands of people experiencing hearing loss, including those with Noise Induced Hearing Loss covering everything from initial advice on signs and symptoms on the internet to when to contact your Doctor. For advice of taking control of noise and helping to prevent noise-induced hearing loss contact us.

The NHS provides comprehensive advice on their website including: 

Signs and symptoms of hearing loss

Common symptoms include:

  • difficulty hearing other people clearly, and misunderstanding what they say, especially in noisy places
  • asking people to repeat themselves
  • listening to music or watching television loudly
  • having to concentrate hard to hear what other people are saying, which can be tiring or stressful

When to get medical help

You should seek medical help if:

  • You or your child suddenly lose hearing (in one or both ears), call your Doctor as soon as possible.
  • You think your or your child's hearing is getting gradually worse, make an appointment to see your Doctor.
  • You're concerned about a friend's or family member's hearing, encourage them to see their Doctor.

Causes of hearing loss

Common causes of hearing loss can include:

  • Sudden hearing loss in one ear may be due to earwax, an ear infection, a perforated (burst) eardrum or Ménière's disease.
  • Sudden hearing loss in both ears may be due to damage from a very loud noise, or taking certain medicines that can affect hearing.
  • Gradual hearing loss in one ear may be due to something inside the ear, such as fluid (glue ear), a bony growth (otosclerosis) or a build-up of skin cells (cholesteatoma)
  • Gradual hearing loss in both ears is usually caused by ageing or exposure to loud noises over many years.

Treatments for hearing loss

The most often used treatments include:

  • hearing aids – several different types are available on the NHS or privately
  • implants – devices that are attached to your skull or placed deep inside your ear, if hearing aids aren't suitable
  • different ways of communicating – such as sign language or lip reading.

Preventing hearing loss

Simple things you can do to reduce the risk of damaging your hearing:

  • not having your television, radio or music on too loud
  • using headphones that block out more outside noise, instead of turning up the volume 
  • if you are a business, identifying noise risks and sources of loud noises using a sound level meter such as the Pulsar Nova.
  • wearing ear protection (such as ear defenders) if you work in a noisy environment, such as a garage workshop or a construction site; special vented earplugs that allow some noise in are also available for musicians
  • using ear protection at loud concerts and other events where there are high noise levels
  • not inserting objects into your or your children's ears – this includes fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool and tissues.

For advice of taking control of noise and helping to prevent noise-induced hearing loss contact us.