Hearing loss

Common Signs of Hearing Loss        

There are common signs and symptoms that indicate a person may have a hearing loss. Look for these signals when the person:

  • Asks to have things repeated often.
  • Does not react to loud noise.
  • Does not always respond when spoken to or responds inappropriately.
  • Has trouble hearing when spoken to from another room
  • Misunderstands conversation
  • Has trouble hearing when it is noisy and in group settings
  • Complains that people are mumbling
  • Turns TV or radio volume louder in order to hear
  • Has difficulty hearing women’s or children’s voices, but can hear deeper tones such as men’s voices (or vice versa).
  • Must be close to the person speaking.
  • Speaks too loudly or softly in conversation.
  • Strains to hear.
  • Ignores sounds coming from behind.
  • Experiences ringing or buzzing in the ears.
  • Turns head towards the person speaking.
  • Has difficulty with telephone conversations.

Testing your hearing

If you are concerned about your hearing, you will probably make an appointment to have a hearing test.

The House Ear Institute (HEI), now known as House Research Institute, is a non-profit organisation, based in Los Angeles, USA, dedicated to advancing hearing science through research and education to improve quality of life.

It produced this video as a self-assessment for hearing loss. See how you fare.


Useful links 

Here are some other organsisations that may help with hearing loss information and advice:

Support Groups

The Meniere’s Resource and Information Centre is run by the Meniere’s Support Group of Victoria (MSGV).This is a non-profit, self-help organisation run mainly by volunteers. A small group of individuals with Ménière’s disease established the MSGV in 1991.   It aims to provide a high level of community support for people who have Ménière’s disease.  For details see: menieres.org.au

The Australian Tinnitus Association (NSW) Ltd is a non-profit company established in Sydney in December 1984 and is supported by the South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service.ATA’s mission is to provide information, support and counselling to tinnitus sufferers and preventative education to the wider community.   For details see:  tinnitus.asn.au

Related Organisations

The Deafness Forum of Australia is the umbrella body for deafness and hearing impairment organizations in Australia.  Based in Canberra it lobbies the Commonwealth Govermnet on issues affecting its constituency.  For details see:  deafnessforum.org.au

Hearing Loss Association of America was originally SHHH in the USA, from which SHHH Australia took its name.  It then changed its name.  However its aims remain similar to those of SHHH Australia, though on a larger scale:  hearingloss.org
Deaf Children Australia provides information, advocacy, support services and educational resources that respond to the needs of these children and their families:  deafchildrenaustralia.org.au
The Deaf Society of NSW is the leading provider in NSW of specialist services to people who are Deaf and their families.  Services include sign language interpreting, education and training, employment and workplace support services, individual and community support, advocacy, and outreach in regional NSW.  For more information see:  deafsocietynsw.org.au.

Professional Services

This is the website for the Office of Hearing Services (OHS) within the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.  It gives details of the provision of Hearing Service Vouchers for Centrelink clients and other eligible citizens:  health.gov.au/hear
Australian Hearing is part of the Commonwealth Department of Human Services.  Their services include assessing hearing, fitting hearing devices and providing counselling and rehabilitative programs to help eligible clients manage their hearing impairment. They have a large number of outlets all over Australia:

The National Acoustics Laboratory (NAL) undertakes scientific investigations into hearing, hearing habilitation and rehabilitation, and the effects of noise on people, including the prevention of hearing loss.  Most of this is government funded but some additional research is also performed in collaboration with commercial organisations from the hearing rehabilitation and hearing protection industries.  nal.gov.au
National Relay Service is a telephone relay service that allows people who are deaf or have a hearing, speech or other communication impairment to make phone calls, any time of the day or night:  relayservice.gov.au
The Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) is a non profit organisation dedicated to empowering those who are deaf or have a hearing, speech or communication impairment to obtain access to the telephone and other telecommunication networks. They provide access to interested people, via the National Relay Service (see above).  ACE also provides to the community a wider variety of services and resources including a directory of other web sites.  aceinfo.net.au
The Audiological Society of Australia maintains a list of qualified audiologists throughout Australia on this website:

Media Access Australia used to be the Australian Caption Centre.  It is now part of the international Red Bee Corporation. It provides captioning services for TV channels, DVDs, etc:  auscap.com.au
a i media Access Innovation Media creates innovative economic access solutions that transform the experience of life for many people. Working with committed clients and partners in the private, public and community sectors, Ai-Media delivers world-leading solutions in the production, broadcast, education, health and business arenas.  Their website:  www.ai-media.tv
The HEARing Education and Research Network (HEARnet) provides online information about hearing health and hearing technologies to adults, children and families affected by hearing loss;hosts online training modules (through HEARnet Learning); and improves community knowledge about the risks of noise-induced hearing loss and prevention measures.  Their website:  hearnet.org.au

Better Hearing Victoria


Better Hearing Queensland


+ other States

Hearing Loss Association of America