Medical Q&As

Hearing aid - how to get one?

Approximately two years ago I found I was having difficulty in hearing the television; when in a crowded pub with lots of people talking; or in company when maybe two or three people are talking at the same time. I am 65 years of age and retired from my occupation as a trade union official. I would like to know where I can have a test and where I can get a hearing aid if it is required?

I would suggest that you attend your GP for a preliminary assessment in order to establish if your suspected hearing loss is due to earwax or possibly due to a medical condition. Assuming that both of these possibilities are excluded you then have a couple of options open to you. Your GP could refer you to an ENT specialist who could in turn organise special testing of your hearing which would include testing with a device called an audiometer. Depending on the result of the test the specialist could then arrange for you to be provided with a suitable hearing aid. Alternatively you could attend a special hearing aid centre. There are several such centres listed in the golden pages telephone directory under the heading of hearing aids. If you choose this latter route check that the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs approve the centre because the Department operates a special grant scheme to assist towards the purchase of hearing aids. A grant of up to 350 is available if one hearing aid is necessary and a grant of 700 is available if two aids are required. The Department or approved centre can advise you if you qualify for the grant. Hearing aids are also a tax-deductible expense.