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Hearing tests

There are several ways you can get your hearing tested.

You can get a free hearing test on the NHS. A GP may refer you to a hearing specialist (audiologist) who can do the test.

It could take a few weeks to see a specialist so it might be quicker to get tested somewhere else, like at a large pharmacy or opticians. This is often free.

Important

Always see a GP first if:

  • you also have other symptoms, like earache or discharge – this could be something easily treatable like an earwax build-up or ear infection
  • you have sudden hearing loss in one ear
  • you're worried about your child's hearing

Online hearing test

There are simple hearing tests online.

This can tell you if you need to have a face-to-face hearing test.

Pharmacies and opticians

Lots of large pharmacies and opticians can do hearing tests.

The test is often free, but you'll normally have to pay for any treatment you might need (such as hearing aids).

What happens during a hearing test

You may have a few different tests during your appointment to check if you have hearing loss and find out the cause.

Common hearing tests include:

These are hearing tests for adults. Newborn hearing tests and some hearing tests for children are different.