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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Treating hearing loss in adults

Te whakarauora i te ngarohanga whakarongo ki ngā pakeke

Treating your hearing loss will depend on its cause and how severe it is.

Recent research shows that untreated hearing loss is linked to dementia. The sooner your hearing loss is treated, the better you'll hear now, and in the future.

If an ear condition is causing your hearing loss, it may need treatment such as:

If your hearing loss is permanent, such as from ageing or noise-induced hearing loss, you may need hearing assistance.

Hearing aids

Hearing aids make sounds that you cannot hear louder to help you hear them. There are several different types of hearing aids. Which one works best for you will depend on what you need the hearing aid for and how you want it to look. It may also depend on what type of hearing loss you have and the shape of your ear.

Audiologists at a hearing clinic usually assess your hearing needs and fit hearing aids. It's worthwhile getting the correct hearing aid as it can make a big improvement to your quality of your life.

The New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS) has more information about hearing aids.

If you have severe hearing loss not helped by hearing aids, you may be suitable for a cochlear implant device.

Funding for hearing aids

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People has two schemes to help pay for hearing aids. This may only pay part of the cost of the hearing aid you choose. You might also have to pay for things such as the audiologist fees and replacement batteries.

Hearing Aid Funding Scheme

New Zealand residents aged over 16 with a permanent hearing loss may be eligible for the Hearing Aid Funding Scheme, which covers the cost of your hearing aids if you meet one of these criteria:

Hearing Aid Subsidy Scheme

New Zealand residents aged over 16 with a permanent hearing loss are eligible for a government subsidy towards the cost of hearing aids.

Other funding options

ACC may help with costs if your hearing loss is due to an accident or work-related noise-induced hearing loss.

Veterans' Affairs may help with costs if your hearing was damaged, or you developed tinnitus while serving in the New Zealand Defence Forces.

The New Zealand Audiological Society (NZAS) has more information about funding options for hearing aids.

Hearing aids for tamariki (children) are funded by Manatū Hauora – Ministry of Health and provided by your local Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand organisation.

Other hearing assistance

Some devices other than hearing aids and cochlear implants can help you manage with hearing loss. These include special phones, alerting devices and sound amplifiers.

You can get help with finding out what would help you through the Deaf Aotearoa Hauora programme.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2023.

See also:

Blocked ears (Eustachian tube dysfunction)

Cochlear implant

Communicating with someone who cannot hear well

Hearing loss in children

Middle ear infections (otitis media)

Outer ear infection (otitis externa)

Sources

Page reference: 153883

Review key: HIHEL-52900