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Helped over
250,000 Australians

6 signs and symptoms of hearing loss

The symptoms of hearing loss depend on the type, degree and cause of hearing loss.
If you recognise any of the below symptoms, we recommend getting a FREE* hearing check at a hearing clinic near you.

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1. Difficulty following conversations
Difficulty following conversations involving more than two people or when there’s background noise
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2. Phone conversations are unclear
You have trouble following phone conversations in both quiet and noisy surroundings
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3. People seem to be mumbling
You often ask people to repeat themselves. Sounds seem unclear or people sound like they are mumbling
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4. Difficulty locating sounds
You have difficulty locating where sounds are coming from
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5. Signs of tinnitus
You experience ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears (called tinnitus)
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6. Turning up the TV too loud
Your friends and family say you turn the television up too loud

Do you recognise any of the above signs of hearing loss?

If you or someone you know can relate to any of the signs of hearing loss listed above, then it may be an indication of hearing impairment, and you should get your hearing checked.

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Degrees of hearing loss

The degree of hearing loss refers to the severity of the loss and is generally categorized as either mild, moderate, severe, or profound

It can be measured in decibels (dB), referring to how loud sounds need to be for you to hear them.

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Normal hearing (≤20 dB~)
No perceived hearing loss symptoms.
Illustration shows ear with mild hearing loss ear waves
Mild hearing loss (21-40 dB~)
Soft speech is difficult to hear, especially in noisy environments.
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Moderate hearing loss (41-70 dB~)
Following normal speech or conversation in noisy environments or group settings is problematic.
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Severe hearing loss (71-90 dB~)
People have to speak very loudly for you to hear them.
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Profound hearing loss (≥91 dB~)
Hearing is challenging in most environments.

Types of hearing loss

Sensorineural hearing loss
The most common type of hearing loss is called sensorineural hearing loss. It can be caused by damage to tiny hair-like cells in the inner ear or damage to the auditory nerve. Often, this type of hearing loss can be managed with hearing aids.

Conductive hearing loss
This type of hearing loss comes from a mechanical problem in the middle or outer part of the ear. Conductive hearing loss can also be caused by an obstruction of some sort in the canal of the ear, such as earwax preventing sound from getting to the ear drum. It can be treated and/or managed using hearing aids or other medical options.

Mixed hearing loss
Mixed hearing loss is when both aspects of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss are present.

Types of hearing loss

Facts about hearing loss

Hearing loss is more common than you might think.

1 in 2 Australians over the age of 60 are estimated to be affected by hearing loss(1)
It is estimated that 879,700 people aged between 26 - 64 living with undiagnosed hearing loss in Australia(2)

What causes hearing loss?

Understanding the source of your hearing issues gives our professionals insight into your needs, so we can advise you with the best options for your specific treatment. That's why we encourage you to speak with our experts as soon as you notice any hearing difficulties.

Common causes of hearing loss include:

  • Aging
  • Excessive noise exposure
  • Injury
  • Viral infections (such as measles or mumps)
  • Wax buildup
  • Ototoxic drugs (medications that damage hearing)
  • Genetics

Causes of hearing loss

Tip from an audiologist

No matter your level of concern, it is important to seek advice early when it comes to hearing loss.

The longer hearing loss is present the greater the impacts on your self confidence, relationships and health and the more life you miss out on!

Book a FREE* hearing check

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Treating hearing loss

Hearing loss treatment and/or management may include: ear wax removal, hearing aids, surgery, cochlear implants or bone anchored hearing solutions.

The best solution for your hearing loss will depend on:

  • Type of hearing loss
  • Degree of hearing loss
  • Cause of hearing loss
  • Your budget
  • Lifestyle, personal interests, cosmetic preferences and communication needs

Hearing loss treatment Online hearing test

5 steps to improving your hearing

Check your hearing
1. Check your hearing with our 5-minute online hearing test (4).
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Hearing Check
2. Book a FREE* hearing check in a clinic near you.
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3. Learn about modern hearing aid technology features and benefits.
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4. Learn about funding options and subsidy programs.
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How to prevent hearing loss

While there is no cure for loss of hearing, there are steps you can take to prevent it and reduce your chances of developing hearing loss over the course of your lifetime.

Learn more about healthy hearing practices and protection solutions that may help reduce hearing loss.  

Preventing hearing loss

FAQ about hearing loss

Mona Hemsley red shirt looking forward
Mona Hemsley - Chief Audiologist and Head of Clinical Governance and Training

B.Comm(Mgt), GradCertSci., M.Clin.Aud.,MAudSA(CCP)

Mona’s career has seen her work in a wide range of audiological areas, including paediatrics, diagnostics and tinnitus counselling, where she ultimately developed a passion for adult rehabilitation and helping not simply hearing care clients but developing the skills of our network of clinicians. Mona’s consistent relationship-focused ability to train and foster the talents of all client-facing team members saw her move into State Management and national training roles, before advancing to her current role as Chief Audiologist and Head of Clinical Governance and Training for the entire Audika Clinical Network across Australia and New Zealand. 

Mona’s focus is now on ensuring every client that Audika interacts with is achieving a better quality of life, through a clinically consistent, professional and high-standard of care provided by all clinical team members. This client outcomes focus is the key driver in developing and reimagining the future of modern hearing care at Audika.



1. Estimated by Audika using data from the Hearing Care Industry Association, Hearing for Life - The value of hearing services for vulnerable Australians, 2020 report as well as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 
2. Hearing For Life: The Value of Hearing Services For Vulnerable Australians - HCIA  


^Applies to Demant hearing devices only (Oticon, Bernafon & Sonic brands, excludes accessories.
~ Denotes most common dB classification used in Australian clinics.
1 Hearing aid(s) and all accessories must be returned to Audika in an undamaged condition within the 60-day change of mind return period. If the hearing aid(s) are returned in a damaged condition, Audika may in its sole discretion retain payment of the hearing aid(s) and/or claim from you any outstanding balance on the cost of the hearing aid(s). The 60-day change of mind return period does not impact and is in addition to your statutory consumer law rights, and any product warranty offered with the hearing aid(s).