Hearing loss

If you think you or your child has hearing loss, it’s important to get help early. Find out what the symptoms of hearing loss are.

Hearing loss in adults

Here are some symptoms of hearing loss:

  • You frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves
  • You have difficulty understanding speech in noisy places
  • You turn up the volume on your TV or radio so loud that others complain
  • You often misunderstand what is being said.

To diagnose a hearing loss you need a professional hearing test, but first, consider visiting your doctor or a specialist ear nurse.

  • They can check your ears for problems like too much wax or an ear infection.
  • They can also recommend and refer you for professional help, like a hearing therapist or an audiologist.

Seek this help as soon as possible as there are services and supports available to help you manage your hearing loss.

Hearing loss in children

Your child may have trouble hearing if they have some of these signs:

Infants under 6 months old

  • Does not react to loud sounds, or wake to noise
  • Not turning his/her head towards your voice by 4–6 months

Infants 6–12 months old

  • May not recognise words or understand simple phrases

Children 1–2 years

  • Does not respond to or try to locate sounds
  • May not copy or repeat words and sounds to communicate
  • May rely on visual clues

Children 3 years and older

  • Speech is slow compared with other children of similar age
  • Talks loudly
  • Listens to television at louder volume
  • May have short attention span
  • May have behavioral issues
  • May find it hard to follow or understand verbal questions and instructions

The sooner you get the help, the better for you, your child, your family and whānau. Please contact your doctor, nurse or hearing specialist (audiologist) straight away.

Related websites

LIFE Unlimited
LIFE Unlimited offer free hearing services for adults with hearing loss.

The National Foundation for the Deaf
A non-profit organisation working to support New Zealanders with hearing loss.

New Zealand Audiological Society
Audiologists are specialists at diagnosing hearing problems and the non-medical treatment of hearing loss.

Developed by the Starship Foundation and the Paediatric Society of New Zealand.

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