The Community Audiology Service assesses and manages hearing loss, and if necessary refers a client for appropriate treatment.
For all age groups timely diagnosis and early intervention with hearing aids or cochlear implantation if required, or treatment by ENT such as grommets, is not only cost effective but critical for successful outcomes for clients i.e.reducing language delay in children and the risk of dementia and social isolation in the elderly.
An audiologist working in your local Hearing Service can determine whether someone can hear within the normal range, and if not, which portion of hearing (high, middle or low frequencies) are affected and to what degree. S/he is also qualified to advise, select, fit and evaluate the appropriate hearing aids and will advise on further medical consultation if required.
Community Hearing Service is based on assessment and rehabilitation for adults who qualify for Medical Card Holders and all children free of charge. In this regard the following Audiology services are provided;
- National Newborn Hearing Screening for all babies, contracted by HSE and provided in maternity hospital and outpatients
- Audiological assessment for all eligible age groups.
- Hearing aid fitting for all eligible age groups
- The taking of impressions of ears for mould manufacture.
- Onward referral to Acute ENT service as appropriate i.e. in the instance of ‘glue ears’ or requires further medical attention.
- For children referral as appropriate to a Teacher for the Deaf (which is a Department of Education based service), ENT etc.
- Providing information, advice and referral for assistive listening devices such as telephone, doorbell or smoke alarm detector.
Children may be referred by:
- National Newborn Hearing Screening Programme
- Area Medical Officer / Public Health Nurse following professional or parental concerns or School Hearing screening.
- Paediatrician, Speech & Language Therapist, ENT
- Adults require referral by their family doctor (GP) or ENT service.
Community Audiology Centres