Living with hearing loss
As we age so does our ability to hear. Hearing loss happens gradually and so is often difficult to detect. However, good communication with others is of vital importance in maintaining our health and happiness.
If you are having trouble hearing when there is background noise, or others complain that you have the television turned up too loud, then it may be that you have some hearing loss which would be alleviated with the use of a hearing device. A regular annual check up with your GP is a good way of assessing your overall health, and a way of highlighting any areas that may be of concern, such as your hearing. It could be something relatively minor such as a build up of wax, or a condition that requires further investigation and referral onto other health agencies or specialists.
Hearing aid subsidy for SuperGold card holders
If you are a SuperGold card holder and you need a hearing aid, the Ministry of Health can provide a subsidy of up to $511.11 (incl GST) per hearing aid.
You may be able to get help towards the cost of hearing aids from ACC or Veterans' Affairs New Zealand, however you get help from either of these organisations you cannot also get support from the Ministry of Health's Hearing Aid Subsidy Scheme.
The subsidy for each hearing aid is available no more than once every six years.
For more information visit the Ministry of Health website
Websites of interest
- The Hearing Association has a great website with a list of all of their branches around New Zealand and links to other organisations which cater to those with hearing loss.
- The Hearing Association (Auckland) Inc operates as a non-profit organisation providing professional services and membership to people who have hearing difficulties. This compliments the services of various professionals and specialists such as audiologists, audiometrists and other aural rehabilitation workers.
- DeafQuip are committed to providing innovative electronic solutions for deaf and hearing impaired people. With 20+ years experience they have a wealth of knowledge to solve most issues within the workplace or home with their innovative, off-the-shelf products or their technical team can manufacture one off devices to suit most applications.
- The Bay Audiology website has great all round information that may be of interest to you - including taking a test to see if you have a hearing loss.
- An interesting site called the Sight and Hearing Association, is an American website dedicated to preventing the needless loss of vision and hearing through effective screening, education, and research. Whilst the case studies are American, the information provided is relevant for New Zealand.
- Do you having ringing in your ears? Then you may suffer from a condition called Tinnitus. There are different forms of this condition, subjective and objective and the causes vary from damage to the ear to allergies, or high blood pressure. The American Academy of Otolaryngology has an excellent site with detailed information on Tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss, including the Five Minute Hearing Test.
- Meniere's Disease is a condition characterised by recurring vertigo (dizziness), hearing loss, and tinnitus (a roaring, buzzing or ringing sound in the ears). Find out more about this disease on the National Foundation of the Deaf website