Coronavirus (COVID-19): information and support

Get your hearing tested

Where to get your hearing tested

Most face-to-face audiology services have stopped during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’ve put together a guide on what to do if you have unexpected hearing loss during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you think you might have hearing loss, you can take our telephone check by calling 0844 800 3838. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.

The telephone check will give you an indication whether you have a hearing loss or not. It won’t tell you how much hearing loss you might have and it is not the same as a full hearing test conducted by an audiologist, but it will recommend the next steps to take.

It can also provide you with personalised results to take to your doctor.

Whatever your results, we encourage you to get your hearing tested in person if you’re concerned about it.

Getting a hearing test on the NHS

You can get a free hearing test on the NHS by going to see your GP.

An appointment with your GP will last around 10 minutes and will usually include:

  • a discussion about your hearing
  • an examination of your ears

If your GP believes your hearing loss is due to a build-up of earwax or an infection, they’ll advise you on what to do next.

If there is not an obvious cause of your hearing problem, your GP should refer you to an NHS audiologist (a hearing healthcare professional) for a full hearing assessment.

NHS audiologists are usually based in hospitals, but are also in some well-known high street chains. Depending on where you live, you can choose where you’d like to be seen.

If you see an NHS audiologist in a high street clinic you should not have to pay for the service, and the hearing aids available to you will be very similar to those in a hospital audiology department.

Your GP should help you to make an informed choice about which audiology service you visit.

Getting your hearing tested privately

You can decide to get your hearing tested privately, without getting a referral from your GP.

Lots of high street chains and independent hearing clinics offer hearing tests which are often free.

If the hearing test shows you need hearing aids, you can either:

  • go to your GP to get a referral to an NHS audiology service to get free hearing aids
  • choose to buy them from a private hearing aid clinic