I think I have hearing problems, what should I do?

Phonak Audeo hearing aid worn by Samantha Baines

As a hearing aid wearer and Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss and the British Tinnitus Association I get asked this a lot. Comes with the job, you could say! I’ve written this post to help anyone who thinks they may have hearing problems and doesn’t know what to do next. Don’t worry, you can easily get help plus if you need hearing aids you can apply for a disabled persons Railcard and get a third off travel! Yep there are perks!

Where to get a hearing test

If you think you have a hearing problem the best thing to do is get a hearing test. Your GP can refer you via the NHS or you can go to Boots hearing centres but I would recommend an independent Audiologist listed with the AIHHP Centre of Excellence. An audiologist is a specialist in ears and hearing issues and can give you a hearing test and then advice you on the best next route. I personally use a AIHHP audiologist and the service and level of care really is excellent, they also put up with all my weird questions, like “is there a spider living in my ear?” An independent Audiologist won’t push particular brands of hearing aid either, they can just suggest the best option for you, that is if you need a hearing aid.

For a full list of AIHHP Centre of Excellence Audiologists across the UK go here: https://www.aihhp.org/find-a-member/

A first session including a hearing test should cost under £100.

Low Income Option

If you are on a low income or just can’t afford to go to an audiologist right now, our brilliant NHS can help. Your GP should be able to refer you for a hearing test and most areas in the UK will fund a hearing aid for you, should you need it. It is worth noting that due to funding issues, hearing aids provided by the NHS are not as advanced as those in the private sector. If you can afford to buy your own hearing aids my advice is do it as the superior sound quality will really enhance your life and it will be something you use everyday.

How much?

State of the art hearing aids are around £3000 for a pair and that comes with a two year care and guarentee.

For one hearing aid, like me you are looking at half of that so £1500 for a hearing aid that helps you hear and streams music and podcasts.

How to cope with tinnitus

Samantha Baines holds Tinnitus Week sign for British Tinnitus Association

So, you’ve got tinnitus. It might be a new thing, it might have just got worse or you might have had it for years and want to cope better with it.

First thing to know is, you are not alone. 1 in 8 people have tinnitus in the UK. More than you thought, right? Thing is we don’t tend to talk about things only we can hear and there are probably people close to you who suffer with it too. Also know that there are lots of types of tinnitus, you might have more than one (like me) or you might hear something different to another person with the condition. I hear a high pitched beep all the time and then a wavering wind noise brought on by loud noises.

Second thing to know is you can get help. I have tinnitus myself and I am proud to be an ambassador for the British Tinnitus Association a charity for tinnitus sufferers. Check out their website for lots of information and support, they even run support groups all over the country so you can meet and talk to people who are going through similar things as you. http://www.tinnitus.org.uk

Samantha Baines is the British Tinnitus Association celebrity ambassador

Third thing is unfortunately there is currently no cure for tinnitus. That means no pill you can take to quiet the noise or make it stop completely. However the BTA are working with the UK government to push for more research on tinnitus to find out more about it and hopefully find a cure. We recently had a round table discussion at the House of Commons to push this forward. There is hope!

Sign this petition to help move the research along: https://www.change.org/p/matthew-hancock-mp-commit-more-funding-to-tinnitus-research

Coping strategies

Things that make tinnitus worse include caffeine, I know sorry! Decaf is your friend. We know stress also makes tinnitus worse so just relax. Easier said than done right? But if you are finding it particularly bad, taking some relax time, meditating, going for a walk, having a nice bath really can help.

Zoning out from you tinnitus is the best way to cope, again, easier said than done! If you think about it you will hear it stronger than ever, so you are probably hearing it really loudly now whilst reading about it. Distracting your mind can be a good way to zone out so TV, reading or a physical activity.

Lots of people use music to drown their tinnitus out. Playing music whilst you work, cook and even music/white noise/forest noises before you go to bed can be a life saver. Obviously you can choose the noise for you, if whale song gets you to sleep then go for it! If you sleep in a bed with someone and they don’t want music then you can get headbands that are comfy to wear at night and have built in headphones as you will struggle with your ear pods if you turn as much as me in your sleep.

Do I have hearing loss of I have tinnitus?

Hearing loss and tinnitus are not always connected, you can definitely have one without the other. It is worth having a hearing test with your local audiologist or they do it now at Boots to double check. Some types of tinnitus can be helped with a hearing aid if they are paired with hearing loss so worth checking.

You are going to be okay, you can do this and you are not alone. If you are struggling please always talk to someone whether it’s a friend, family member or you can text SHOUT to 85258 for 24/7 support ♥️

Magic Mike Live London with me

I’ve been shut away at the Hippodrome Casino since last year and it is because I have been rehearsing and performing in Magic Mike Live! It’s a brand new show on London’s West End and it’s directed by Channing Tatum, which means that yes, I have met Channing Tatum and he’s very lovely and smells very nice too.




It’s a rather fun job! I even do a little dance and a little sing, did you know I could do that?! Not really done the singing dancing thing on stage that much before but I am really enjoying it and I think I even have rhythm! I get to work with a bunch of very lovely people and this is what I look like at work everyday! Yep #livingmybestlife




So Magic Mike IS NOT A STRIP SHOW! These men are professional dancers and at the top of their game and are seriously talented as well as being pretty. They are all lovely humans too which makes for a very nice working environment.

You can see me in Magic Mike Live at the Hippodrome Casino in London’s Leicester Square until the beginning of October 2019.

Tickets here!


Lovely review for my book! POENTRY

By Holly Shearer. I’m pretty sure I’m not on my own in the fact that I sometimes enjoy reading the odd poem or two. I’ve even written some in the past. (Not confident enough to try and publish any.) See, I do believe the problem with my poetry is, it’s just too heavy, emotional and […]

via Po Entry Book Review. — The Socialite UK

Deaf-intely time: Deaf Awareness Week

This May it’s Deaf Awareness Week,

And it’s visibility that we seek.

I have a hearing aid in one ear,

On diagnosis I was filled with fear,

But meeting others and making friends,

Has calmed my anxiety and made amends,

For the shock and lonliness I once felt,

From this hearing diagnosis I was dealt.

I love my hearing aid now you see,

There’s no one else I’d rather be,

It’s useful I can’t hear some of the chat,

That pollutes our world but more than that,

I’m learning to lip read and be more aware,

To face others and to bare –

My mouth so others can see,

The words that are spilling out of me.

To be conscious of environments that are too loud,

Avoiding the centre of a crowd,

Speaking clearly but not to patronise,

And I’m becoming wise,

To repeating and never saying “it doesn’t matter”,

Why should anyone miss out on the chatter.

My hearing aid doesn’t mean I don’t understand,

It means I might need a helping hand,

I’m still just as clever and alert as you,

You don’t need to dull down the things you do,

Just smile, say hello and be aware,

And if I show you, you don’t have to stare,

Im still just me with a little extra hearing assistance,

Really I’m just living an X-Men type existence!