Signs of hearing loss

Can you recognise the signs of hearing loss? Find out the everyday situations in which you may be experiencing signs of hearing loss.

The first symptoms of hearing loss aren’t always obvious, so it’s important to be attuned to them. It can be easy to either dismiss hearing problems, or learn to adjust to them. However, the sooner you can identify the signs of hearing loss, the sooner you can prevent further hearing loss and get the best possible results from the right hearing treatment. Understanding if you have hearing loss, and how it may be affecting you, is the first step to restoring your confidence and ability to engage with the world around you.

If you answer "yes" to several of the following questions, it’s time to talk to your health professional:

  • Do you have difficulty hearing conversations, especially where there’s background noise?
  • Do you frequently ask people to repeat what they have said?
  • Do you misunderstand what people say?
  • Do you find it difficult to hear on the telephone?
  • Do you turn up the volume on the TV or radio louder than others in the room prefer?
  • Do you feel that people are mumbling when they talk?
  • Do you have difficulty hearing sounds of nature, such as birds chirping or rain falling?
  • Do you find yourself agreeing or nodding your head during conversations when you're not sure what's been said?
  • Do you remove yourself from conversations because it's too difficult to hear?
  • Do you read lips in order to understand what people are saying?
  • Do you find yourself straining to hear or keep up with conversations?
  • Do you experience tinnitus (a persistent ringing, buzzing or other sound)?

If you think you or a loved one has a hearing problem, read more about taking the next steps to treat your hearing loss.


The information on this website is for educational purposes, and is not intended to replace medical advice. Please consult a hearing healthcare professional to diagnose or treat a hearing or health problem.

Online hearing quiz

Do you think you have hearing loss? Or do you wear hearing aids but feel you are not receiving enough benefit from them?

Take the Cochlear hearing quiz