Can You Have A Hearing Loss Without Knowing

Today is World Hearing Day and this year World Hearing Day is about raising awareness for the need to check your hearing. One of the most important reasons to get your hearing checked even if you think your hearing is fine, is that you could have a hearing loss without knowing. We look at why this happens and what you can do to identify a hearing loss sooner

Hearing Loss Happens Gradually

It is quite often thought that hearing loss happens one day and you just can't hear. This does happen in a number of cases, however for the majority of the time hearing loss happens gradually and over a span of months and years, rather than overnight. This is down to the deterioration of inner ear hair cells over a multitude of years working in a noisy environment, or just the wears of every day life. Your inner ear hair cells health decline naturally as you age or you could have a combination of natural deterioration or from problems you have caused. It really can happen so gradually over many years that you barely notice it.

It can be common that your loved ones around you notice it before you do. There might also be sounds that have gradually lost their sound over time that you have forgotten they even make a sound, such as the ticking of your watch or beeping of the oven timer. The gradual process of such hearing loss means that sounds such as your mobile phone ringtone may be quiet but you have just assumed this is how it is suppose to sound.


The signs and symptoms of hearing loss may be right in front of you, however quite often we don't or cannot believe that we have hearing loss. Often we look for other reasons that could be causing why we are having hearing difficulty. Perhaps our loved ones just speak too softly or people these days do not speak clearly like they used to do.

It is easy to look for other reasons why we are not hearing rather than to deal with something that is happening to ourselves. You may feel that TV these days has too much background noise on their programs, channels and adverts and that could be true but if you have a hearing loss this will feel much more emphasised.

You Can Still Hear Most Things

Another reason you may feel you do not have a hearing loss is that for most part of daily life you can hear. You still partake in conversaiton with your partner well. You can hear if someone knocks at the door or listen to your favourite music or radio station.

This is down to the fact your hearing loss is affecting particular frequencies and therefore you can still hear other frequencies fairly well. A high frequency hearing loss which commonly occurs over time will mean that you will miss that crispness that comes with clarity. You will hear the conversation but it will be much duller than it should sound. If you are not hearing those high frquency notes it also means that you can feel lost in background noise being able to hear the lower and mid frequnecy range. It makes it much harder to depict out conversations that are going in background noise. 

Early Identification of Hearing Loss

The earlier a hearing loss is detected the better and easier adapting to wearing a hearing aid will be. The best way to get your hearing checked is to visit your GP for a referal to a NHS hearing centre or booking in to see a local hearing dispenser who will do a hearing test. If you are unsure about your hearing and want to test your hearing right now in the privacy of your own home the World Health Organisation today released a tried and tested app called the HearWho app to check your hearing and monitor it over time (see links below to download the app).

hearwho app world health organisation hearing test

HearWho App For Android devices:

HearWho App For Apple devices:

Our Experience With The hearWHO Hearing Test App

We thought this was a very easy and intuitive app, after we got past the demo and setup process. We would like to let you know that when you see a volume like horizontal bar on the setup area, this is not part of the test, which we thought it was, this is just a confirmation that you have audio.

We left this horizontal bar in the centre of the page and didn't touch it second time around. From there, all you have to do is repeat the three number sequence you hear through your headphones up to 23 times.

Once you have completed this test, you will get a score out of 100, it will only take a few minutes.

Most importantly, you can redo the test again in a few weeks or months time and see if your hearing deteriorates.

We believe it's a fantastic guide, you just need a smart phone with android or iOS and some decent headphones to put over or in your ears.



Quick Tips

If you are registered deaf or are a hearing aid user you qualify for a disabled persons railcard