Sometimes, the opportunity to talk about hearing loss comes out of the blue. Otherwise, it’s up to you to start the conversation – and we know it’s not always easy.  

We have created an accessible guide to support you through the conversations. Our expert guide is available through WhatsApp – so that you’ll have the best possible guidance in your back pocket, ready when you need it.  

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Expert Hearing Loss Guide: Your Most Common Questions, Answered

We know that hearing loss, no matter how much or little, can have a big impact on someone’s life – and the lives of their loved ones. If you need help discussing the hearing journey, you’re in the right place.  

We’re here to help with expert advice from our industry-leading audiologists, to make sure you’ve got all the advice you need to pass on and reassure your loved ones.   

This article answers some of the most common questions we get asked by our customers and their loved ones

How do I talk to someone who is struggling with hearing loss?

Hearing loss affects around 1 in 5 adults in the UK, it can impact every aspect of their lives and isolate them from the world around them.  

It's hard to come to terms with hearing loss, people often deny they have a problem and avoid discussing it.  

The more a person denies that their hearing isn't what it was, the more likely that they'll ignore it. We know that ignoring hearing loss can have an impact on a person’s quality of life, the way they socialise and  lead to other health complications, so it's important to talk about it.  

Help your loved one understand that hearing loss is a natural part of ageing. Reframe the way they see it so that it doesn't mean they're "getting old" or "going deaf" and there's nothing to be embarrassed about. It just means they'll need help to hear as well as they once did.

How do I support someone with hearing aids that have already been fitted/aren’t working properly?

Suddenly being able to hear again can be a bit overwhelming. This is because often hearing is lost gradually, and our brains adapt over time. When your loved one is fitted with their hearing aids they'll get an instant benefit, but it can take a little while for them to get used to them (at times they may get a feeling of the ear being 'blocked').  

You can support a loved one by encouraging them to wear their hearing aids as often as possible. Sometimes it’s easier to build it up over a period, for example by increasing the usage by an hour each day and trying them out in different environments.  

It's equally important that hearing aids are looked after and kept in good condition, so they only ever work as intended. This will help make the most of the hearing aid and should stop them from becoming unwearable or broken.  

My loved one jokes about their hearing loss, how do I deal with this?

Humour is often used to mask problems or avoid talking about something seriously. Tackling this can be difficult, so instead, hold up a mirror to this tactic and don't let it deter you.  

If someone makes a joke about their hearing loss, gently laugh along with them but also challenge any negativity or self-deprecation by emphasising just how normal and solvable hearing loss is. Then, if the timing is right, point them in the direction of getting the help they need.  

Does wearing a hearing aid mean someone is 'getting old' or 'going deaf'?

Not at all! Wearing a hearing aid simply means that someone needs more support hearing in certain environments. With hearing tests, we can understand the level of hearing loss that a person has, and what we can do to help.

My loved one gets frustrated when they talk about their hearing loss, what can I do?

If a person is anxious about their health or getting a hearing test, they might become very defensive – feeling like they are being confronted with something they aren't ready to deal with. When this happens, it's important to get across that you're on the same side as them. Now is not the time to push a solution and force their hand – it's about exploring available options together.  

How do I spot when my loved one might need help with their hearing?

There are a number of tell-tale signs that suggest your loved one might have hearing loss. They include:  

  • They always have the TV or radio on too loud  
  • They struggle to hear you on the phone  
  • They often ask you to repeat yourself, or misunderstand you  
  • They have difficulty following conversations in groups  
  • They find it hard to hear what others are saying if there is background noise  

Is it normal for people to feel nervous before a hearing appointment?

It’s very normal, often people are unsure of what to expect, as well as being worried about the outcome. Others feel nervous about whether they will do the test 'correctly' or not. No matter what, our team will explain the test, making sure your loved one is comfortable throughout, and then walk them through their results to put them at ease.  

What can I do if my loved one is anxious about attending an appointment?

If someone you know is really anxious about going to their audiologist, understanding what they can expect can make all the difference. Make sure you ask as many questions as you want, from what they can expect on the day to how long it'll take, even whether or not any part of the test will hurt (it won't)!.  

What happens during a hearing test?

The first appointment usually takes less than an hour. Our audiologist will play sounds at different pitches and ask your loved one to press a button every time they hear a sound. They'll then have a good idea of where they might be struggling, and what we can do to improve the situation.  

In most cases, hearing aids can be fitted the very same day. These will be adjusted to your loved one's needs, and we'll make sure they feel completely comfortable with them before they leave. It's important for you to work out the right time with your loved one for them to book an appointment, try and avoid making appointments in the middle of a busy or stressful week.  

Can my loved one check their hearing at home?

If someone you love is struggling with their hearing, they can carry out a quick and easy hearing check at home using our free online hearing test. This will give them a better idea about whether they need to come and see one of our audiologists. Just visit:   

How do I find the right hearing aids for my loved one?

Because everyone’s hearing is unique, we will help your loved one choose the right hearing aid for their individual needs. Our hearing aids come in a variety of styles and colours, so they can choose the right look to suit them. We also offer rechargeable and smartphone-compatible hearing aids. 

Are all hearing aids expensive?

Not necessarily – we have hearing aids to suit a range of budgets. No matter which your loved one chooses, it will come with the same aftercare, warranties and remote assistance Specsavers are known for.  

Our stores are accredited to provide NHS hearing services in over half of England. So, if your loved one qualifies for NHS-funded hearing aids, where appropriate, you can get a hearing test, digital hearing aids and full aftercare, from your local store at no extra cost.  

What hearing aids are available and how much do they cost?

Hearing aids are smaller than ever, so your loved one can have a discreet hearing aid fitted that will help them carry on enjoying life as before without feeling self-conscious.  

Hearing tests provide us with a prescription which can be loaded into the hearing aids, allowing them to boost sounds at the exact pitches someone is struggling with. Hearing aids will also help to filter out background noise, such as traffic, making it much easier for the wearer to focus on speech without getting distracted

How long does it take to get used to hearing aids?

It can take up to 12 weeks to fully adjust to hearing aids. During this time, the brain will retrain itself to acknowledge sounds at a louder level. The more your loved one can wear their hearing aids in this time, the easier the adjustment process will be.  

​What happens if the hearing aids don’t feel right?

If your loved one's hearing aids don’t feel right, we're always here to help. Our hearing aid package comes with free aftercare – we want everyone to have the best experience possible with their hearing aids.  

Where can I go for further advice?

Understanding hearing can be complex. If you can’t find what you need in our guide, don’t worry, we're here to help. Find your local store to book an appointment with hearing experts ready to answer all of your questions.  

Wondering where you can go for further advice?

Understanding hearing can be complex. If you can’t find what you need in our guide, don’t worry, we're here to help. Find your local store to book an appointment, chat with our experts online or visit us on facebook with hearing experts ready to answer all of your questions.