Signs of hearing loss in adults

Don't ignore the signs of hearing loss. Discover and understand what you can look out for.

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What you'll find on this page

  • Discover the signs of hearing loss
  • Understand how to take the next step
  • Learn why it’s important to take action

While hearing loss can happen suddenly, it can also occur over time. That means the signs are not always obvious. Answer the questions below to see if you have some of the common symptoms:

Signs that you may have hearing loss

While talking with others

  • Do you strain to hear or struggle to keep up with conversations?
  • Do you find it difficult to hear in the presence of background noise?
  • Do you often ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • Do you mishear what people say?
  • Do you find yourself agreeing or nodding your head during conversations when you’re not sure what’s being said?
  • Do you withdraw from conversations because it’s too difficult to hear?
  • Do you read lips in order to understand what people are saying?

While doing everyday activities

  • Do you find it difficult to hear on the phone?
  • Do you turn up the volume on the TV or radio louder than others in the room prefer?
  • Do you feel people are mumbling when they talk?
  • Are you unable to hear natural sounds, such as rain falling or birds chirping?

When you’re alone

  • Can you hear a persistent ringing or buzzing sound in your ear?
  • Do you find it hard to hear on one side?
  • Do you find it hard to tell where sounds are coming from?
  • Does your own voice sound different?
  • Do you feel pain or pressure in one or both ears?

What’s the next step?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you should get your hearing tested by a hearing health professional who specializes in all types of hearing solutions, including hearing implants.

Find a clinic 

Why it’s important to take action on hearing loss

Although there is no cure for hearing loss, there are solutions that may help.

If you think you have hearing loss, it’s important you take action as soon as possible. Ignoring the signs can make things worse – as Teri W. discovered.


"My hearing loss affected me a lot. I was a teacher. My hearing kept going down slowly, and I was missing what a lot of my students were saying. I got to the point where I did not enjoy going to the movies with my husband. I did not enjoy family gatherings. I would come home feeling left out."

- Teri W. - Nucleus® recipient


Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advise on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative.

Views expressed by Cochlear recipients and hearing health providers are those of the individual. Consult your hearing health provider to determine if you are a candidate for cochlear technology and to understand the associated risks and benefits. Individual results may vary.

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