Audiology is the study of hearing, hearing disorders, and assisting individuals who have hearing loss.

If you think you have a sudden hearing loss, please present to your GP or the ED department as soon as possible.

Services offered include:

  • Diagnostic hearing assessments for children up to the age of 16
  • Hearing aid fitting and follow up for children with permanent or significant hearing loss
  • Diagnostic hearing assessments for patients referred by the Ear, Nose and Throat department
  • Diagnostic hearing assessment for ototoxicity monitoring
  • Assessment and fitting for the bone-anchored hearing aid implants
  • Provision of services for the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Early Intervention Programme

Referrals are accepted from General Practitioners, Well Child Services, Newborn Hearing Screeners, Medical Specialists, Child Development Service, Hearing Therapists, Ear Nurses, Communtity Healthcare Workers, Speech & Language Therapists and other Educational Professionals.

Referral Expectations

Newborn Hearing Screening

The universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programme offers screening to all babies born in New Zealand. Screeners are based at Gisborne Hospital and attempt to screen all babies before they leave the hospital following birth. If babies are not screened before they go home, they are seen at outpatient clinics.

We accept referrals from Newborn Hearing Screeners, Lead Maternity Carers, Midwives, Turanga Health, or Plunkey for babies born at home or at Te Puia Springs Hospital, and General Practitioners. Those who miss screening and are over the age of 3 months at the time of referrals will be seen by the Audiology Service.

Paediatric Diagnostic and Habilitation Service

Referrals are accepted for children between 0 - 16 years of age. Adolescents between 16 and 21 years of age may be eligible provided they are in full-time education.

Please note,  we do not currently provide assessment services relating to Auditory Processing Disorder.

Referrals for children and adolescents should detail:

  • The level of concern regarding the child or young person's hearing
  • Current speech and language abilities and/or educational concerns
  • Any family history of congenital or progressive permanent hearing loss
  • Available newborn hearing screening and/or B$ school hearing screening outcomes
  • Any history of significant head trauma or infectious illness (e.g. meningitis)
  • The extent of any co-existing developmental, intellectual or physical disabilities
  • Any other medical conditions that are known to be associated with hearing loss
  • Other assistance required for appointment attendance e.g interpreters, transport

Paediatric habilitation services may involve the fitting of hearing aids and regular follow-up. Children who are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, under 21 years of age and in full-time education are eligible for complete funding through the Ministry of Health Hearing Aid Funding Scheme. There is no costs to the patient.

Acute Adult Hearing Tests

Referrals for individuals with suspected sudden-onset sensorineural hearing loss should be made directly to the ENT Department. A hearing test will be arranged as part of their assessment process. Referrals should include details of the date of onset of the hearing loss, ear(s) affected, any infectious agents involved, treatment provided, and other neurological or balance symptoms (if applicable).

Routine Adult Hearing Tests

Referrals are only accepted at the request of the ENT department, and for those who are preparing for or have recently undergone treatment using ototoxic agents (e.g intravenous gentamicin or cisplatin chemotherapy). Please detail the agent being used and the start and end dates of the treatment in your referral.

Adult Hearing Aid Services

We currently only accept new referrals for the adult hearing aid service for current patients of the service - that is, adults who acquired hearing aids through the service for current patients of the service - that is, adults who acquired hearing aids through the service in the past - those with any of the following:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Physical disability affecting speech production or non-verbal communication
  • Visual disability

All other adult hearing aid enquiries should be directed to the private practices listed below. There are charges for some services at these clinics. You can be referred by your GP, Specialist, Ear Nurse, Hearing Therapist or Audiologist. You can also make an appointment without a referral.

  • Bay Audiology, 272 Clifford Street, Whataupoko, Phone: 06 867 6711
  • Triton Hearing, 2 Potae Avenue, Lytton West. Phone: 06 863 2856

Clinical Procedures

Newborn Hearing Screening

Skin is prepared with gel in three spots on the head. An earphone is placed over the ar (one at a time) and soft clicking sounds are played into the ear while the baby sleeps. This screen measures a response from the hearing nerve.

ABR  -Auditory Brainstem Response Test

A test on babies (generally under 3 months old) who do not pass the newborn hearing screen, where 4 stickers are placed on the head, and earphones play soft clicking sounds into the ears where 4 stickers are placed on the head, and earphones play soft clicking sounds into the ars (one at a time). Recordings are made from the hearing nerve while baby sleeps.

VRA - Visual Reinforcement Audiometry

Sounds are played and babies/toddlers (aged between 6 months and 30 months) are taught to turn towards the sounds when they hear it. When they hear the sounds they are rewarded with a puppet or video.

Conditioned Play Audiometry

Sounds are played through headphones and children (aged between 30 months and 5-6 years old) are taught to respond by putting a peg on a pegboard each time they hear a sound.

Pure Tone Audiometry

Sounds are played through headphones and older children/adults push a button each time they hear a sound.

Speech Testing

Repeating words presented at different volumes indifferent listening conditions.

Otoacoustic Emissions Testing

A test of inner ear function - plays a range of different beeping sounds into the ar with a small soft ear tip. Does not require a response from the patient

Location and Contact

The Audiology and Newborn Hearing Screening outpatient service is located in Tui Te ora, Gisborne Hosptial.

If you have an appointment, please enter the hospital via the Tui Te Ora entrance (located up the ramp near the hospital helipad).

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8.00am - 4.30pm

Phone: 06 869 0500 ext. 8252 or 0800 800 620 ext. 8252


Useful links

New Zealand Audiological Society

Ministry of Health Hearing Services

New Zealand Foundation For the Dead (NFD)

Deaf Aotearoa

Life Unlimited

The getting started book

Ear infections, earache and glue ear

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