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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

Hearing in adults

Hearing plays a big role in communicating and socialising with other people. It is important to look after your hearing, as you can prevent some types of hearing loss.

But if you do have some hearing loss, you can manage it so that you don't miss out socially or feel isolated because you can't hear.

Do you need a hearing test?

If you have any sudden changes in your hearing, see your doctor urgently (within one day if possible). Ringing in one of your ears is another reason to see your doctor.

However, some hearing problems develop slowly. Sometimes other people are aware of your hearing difficulties before you are. You may need a hearing test if you:

The Audiology Society has a checklist that will help you work out whether you may have any hearing loss.

If you are concerned about your hearing, discuss it with your doctor or audiologist. An audiologist is a healthcare professional who specialises in hearing tests and hearing aids. You can find more information about getting hearing tests and hearing aids on the New Zealand Audiological Society website.

Life Unlimited has Ministry of Health funding for people over 16. If you are concerned about your hearing, you can see a hearing therapist free of charge. You don't need a referral to see the hearing therapist. They can carry out some hearing tests and give you advice about your hearing. The hearing therapists can refer you for hearing aids and devices if you need them. They can also help you access funding for them.

If you want to find a private audiologist, try Healthpages or the audiological society.

On the next page: Hearing loss and hearing aids in adults

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by audiologist, Canterbury DHB. Page created December 2015.


Page reference: 52900

Review key: HIHEL-52900