Hearing Tests and Hearing Aids
Ireland has implementing Universal Newborn Hearing Screening which means that all babies born in Irish hospitals have their hearing tested in the first few days. However, should your child need a hearing test after that, there are a number of ways to arrange this.
There is no charge for a hearing test at a public health centre or Local Health Office or public hospital hearing aid clinic regardless of whether you hold a medical card or not. However, sometimes there can be lengthy delays. If you experience these delays, please contact the Deaf Education Centre to log a complaint. While we have no input in public services, we monitor delays and lobby on behalf of parents for improved services. If your child needs hearing aids and you would like to have them fitted, they are provided free of charge.
You will be charged in private audiology and hearing testing clinics. It is important to note that in order to avail of public (free) hearing aids, you must be seen by a public audiologist (i.e. you cannot have a private assessment and then transfer straight to a public list for hearing aids).
How Do I Apply?
If you need to arrange for a hearing test for your child, you should contact your GP and ask for a referral. Your child may be referred by your GP to an audiologist or Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist under the HSE or privately. You can also make an appointment yourself by contacting your Local Health Office. Your child may also be referred from the child health service or school health service examinations during pre-school and primary school.
There is a very useful factsheet by Deafhear which explains the variety of hearing tests that parents may encounter.
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