Visual and hearing impairment

If you have trouble with your hearing, sight or both senses, you should visit your GP.

Hearing difficulties

See the Action on Hearing Loss website for more information.

If you have a problem, your GP may refer you the audiology clinic for a hearing test. The test will find out what the problem is. 

Hearing aids and other equipment 

If you need a hearing aid, the earlier you start using it, the more it will help.

Modern hearing aids are small, lightweight and not very noticeable at all. You can buy them privately or you may be able to get one from the NHS.

Even without a hearing aid, there is lots of other equipment you can buy. For example:

  • Flashing or vibrating alarm clocks
  • Extra loud telephones, TVs, radios and door bells
  • Flashing smoke detectors
  • Personal amplifiers so that you can hear the TV without turning the volume up too high

You can buy some of this equipment from high street shops, from catalogues and from mobility shops.

If you are not sure what equipment to buy, contact Disabled Living or Action on Hearing Loss

Sight loss

If you are worried about your sight, you can get advice from:

As well as testing you for glasses, optometrists (used to be called opticians) can see if there are other problems and can refer you to a doctor if needed. For many problems, the sooner they are treated, the better the outcome. 


Buy communication and sight aids from high street stores, online or catalogues. You can find a range of communication aids at Living Made Easy. Useful items include:

  • Speaking clocks and watches
  • Large button phones
  • Magnifiers
  • Tactile dials (dials that you can feel as well as see)

The RNIB shop has over 1,000 different products.

What Adult Social Care can do

If you want more advice or you feel that you need more support, contact Adult Social Care. We can assess your situation and discuss with you the type of support you need.


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