Frequently Ask Questions

Hearing Loss

To make it easy to talk about, we use this term to describe people who are deaf, deafened, partially hearing/deaf, hard of hearing, have Tinnitus, Meniere’s or Hyperacusis and may use British Sign Language, lipread, have a hearing aid or cochlear implant

The level of loss

The age you were diagnosed, your education and your communication choiceare just some of the variables that make each person with a hearing loss unique.Over the yearsmany categories andlabels have been used, but it’s best we use terms people are comfortable with:Those with up to a moderate loss who use English like to be called ‘hard of hearing’; those who are deafened before adulthood and have a severe loss prefer ‘deaf’. People aligned with the Deaf Community use‘Deaf’ (with a capital D) and can be called a Deaf Sign Language speaker/user


ringing, buzzing or other intrusive sounds which can make it hard to hear or concentrate


dizzy spells, sickness and a drop in hearing


some sounds, frequencies or volumes are painful, causing temporary deafness

British Sign Language

British Sign Languageis recognised in the Disability Act (2017). It has a topic-comment syntax; vocabulary is formed by the hand, the position around the body and type of movement; the meaning is modulated by facial expression.


Lipreading is a linguistic art that relies on understanding the 30% of words that are shaped by the lips, together with fluency in that language and a great deal of deduction.



NHS England (2016) Commissioning Services


NHS England (2014) Volume 1, Chapter 4: Hearing

REFAIE (2000)

Refaie (2000) The Epidemiology of Tinnitus in The Handbook of Tinnitus


Schecklmann et al (2014) Phenotypic Characteristics of Hyperacusis in Tinnitus

COELHO (2008)

Coelho (2008) Medical Management of Meniere’s Disease


World Health Organisation (2018) Deafness &Hearing Loss Factsheet