Where can I get a hearing test?

Hearing problems are more common than you might think, especially as people get older. If you suspect that you might have a hearing issue, getting a test to confirm the problem is easy. Lots of people want to know ‘where can I get a hearing test?’. Fortunately, there are several options.

What are the signs that I need a hearing test?

Before asking, ‘where can I get a hearing test?’ you should consider whether a hearing test is necessary. Other than the obvious signs, such as struggling to hear people talking to you, there are other less obvious signs that you should arrange a hearing test. For example, a persistent ringing in your ears. This phenomenon is known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is most noticeable in environments with little to no ambient sounds. Depending on its severity, tinnitus can manifest as a barely audible noise or as a loud ringing that’s noticeable even in relatively noisy environments. Tinnitus can be due to medication side effects, injuries, or persistent exposure to loud noises.

If you’re struggling to hear sounds that you previously found easily audible, it’s worth booking a hearing test. However, if your symptoms are accompanied by an earache or discharge coming from your ear, you should see your GP. You should also consult a GP if you suddenly lose your hearing in one or both ears.

Where can I get a hearing test?

The NHS provides free hearing tests. Your GP can refer you to an audiologist, or you can book yourself a hearing test through a pharmacy or optician. Most large opticians and pharmacies offer free hearing tests, although you should phone ahead to check whether these services are available. Smaller branches are less likely to offer them. These tests are usually free, but you will need to pay for any resulting treatments, such as hearing aids.

There are also online hearing tests available. These won’t give you a definitive answer and aren’t a substitute for a formal examination, but they may be helpful indicators that can help you decide whether it’s worth booking a face-to-face test.

Where can I get a hearing test for my child or elderly relative?

If your child complains of hearing problems or you suspect they might have one, you should consult your GP before booking a test. In many cases, the culprit is earwax, in which case your GP can usually treat the problem quickly and painlessly in their office. NEVER insert anything into anyone’s ear (including your own) to try and clear ear wax yourself; this is the most common cause of ear damage and infections. The exception is specially formulated oils, available from your local pharmacy. The same applies to elderly relatives.

Booking a hearing test is a simple process. You don’t need your GP to refer you to a specialist, although they will do so when necessary. In cases of sudden, dramatic hearing loss, you should always consult your GP. If sudden hearing loss is accompanied by tinnitus or occurs after a head injury, go to A&E or dial 111. Almond Hearing offers hearing tests in Lothian. We also offer hearing aids and ear wax removal services.