Half of adults fear hearing loss – but two-thirds have never had hearing test

Four in five Brits would seek swift treatment in a few weeks or less for ailments including flu-like symptoms, lumps, or rashes – but just 55% would take the same speedy course of action for hearing loss symptoms, research has found.

A survey of 2,000 adults found that more than two-thirds (68%) have suffered symptoms that could be linked to hearing loss – such as ringing in their ears (31%), mishearing what others are saying (28%), and regularly asking people to repeat themselves (23%).

But 65% have never been for a routine hearing test – as two in five (39%) believed their symptoms were nothing to worry about.

And 36% said that if they did experience hearing-related symptoms, they would pretend it was completely normal – while 13% believe they are too young to experience such symptoms.

But despite half of all adults (49%) worrying about losing their hearing, 19% told themselves they were simply overreacting when they did notice signs.

To mark World Hearing Day tomorrow (Friday, March 3), Specsavers, which commissioned the research, is encouraging the public to prioritise hearing health.

This follows a recent report by the World Health Organization, which stated 60% of hearing problems can be addressed through primary care.

GP and TV doctor, Dr Zoe Williams, who has partnered with the high-street eyecare and audiology experts, said: “The appearance of a red rash, lumps, bumps, or blurred vision are all aliments where we’d seek immediate tests and medical advice.

“However, people who have hearing loss don’t always seek support straight away – and unfortunately, the longer you leave hearing issues, the worse they can become.

“Hearing tests are an essential part of our overall health maintenance, and hearing health is integral within primary care.

“Luckily, audiologists form part of this primary care setting, and can address a range of hearing problems you may be experiencing quickly and easily.”

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that 28% were unaware the longer they waited to get their hearing problem sorted, the worse their hearing would get.

  • A fifth of Brits think their hearing is poor – but a third have never had a hearing test

But 81% said they would book a hearing test sooner if they knew they could be at risk of losing their hearing.

Gordon Harrison, Specsavers’ chief audiologist, said: “Hearing loss affects millions of people in the UK, and we know that many people struggle for years before they take any action.

“It is important to get your hearing checked if you notice any changes, regardless of your age.

“Most of the time hearing loss happens gradually, making it harder to notice if you’re not hearing as well as you used to.

“The best thing to do is to make sure that you never listen to your music above 60% volume, give your ears regular breaks, and when you know you’re going to be surrounded by loud noise, make sure to take hearing protection with you.

“Prevention is always best, so if you do notice any changes in your hearing, make sure you seek expert help as soon as possible.”


  1. A lump
  2. A persistent cough
  3. Blurred vision
  4. Bleeding
  5. A rash
  6. Teeth problems
  7. Feeling faint
  8. Aches and pains
  9. Feeling sick
  10. A cold

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