Getting your hearing tested

In the UK there are two distinct routes to getting hearing aids. Under the National Health Service (NHS), modern hearing aids are available free of charge by referral to an Audiology or ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) clinic by your GP (family doctor). However, you can opt for the private route by visiting a ‘high street’ hearing aid dispenser. These two routes are quite separate, and there is no NHS financial support towards private purchase. 
 

How ears and hearing are assessed

At your initial visit, your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser will usually carry out tests to assess your hearing ability, as well as to check the general health of your ears.
Here we give a brief summary of some of the more common tests that may be carried out during your appointment. The actual tests will depend on the professionals judgement – so you should not be concerned if you do not have all of these.

Test which are routinely carried out by an NHS audiologist and a hearing aid dispenser:

Otoscopy
Hearing Test (Pure Tone Audiogram)
Uncomfortable Loudness Levels test


Addtional clinical tests thats are not usually carried out by a hearing aid dispenser:

Tympanometer test
Acoustic Reflex test (ART)
 

Which route do you expect to follow?

► National Health Service (NHS) route
Private route

 
 

You can also remind yourselves about the following topics:

Hearing aids and what they do 
How the ear works

 

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