Hearing loss doesn’t just entail being unable to hear correctly. Recent studies show connections to co-morbidities, like increased risks of dementia and falls.
So, irrespective of whether you opt for NHS or decide to go the private route to treat your hearing loss, treating the problem is an important decision.
Many independent hearing clinics and high street chains in the UK provide hearing assessments for free. If a hearing test shows that you need some hearing aids, you may either buy them from private hearing aid clinics or go to a GP to recommend an NHS audiologist for free hearing aids.
Getting a Test through the NHS
You may get a free NHS test by seeing your general practitioner (GP). An appointment with a GP can last for about ten minutes and often includes an examination of the ears and a discussion about hearing.
If your general practitioner believes your hearing problem is because of an infection or earwax build-up, they can advise on the steps to take next.
If there are obvious causes of the problem, your general practitioner will recommend a good NHS audiologist for a full assessment.
NHS audiologists are often based in public hospitals and some popular high-street chains. You may decide where you want the test to be done based on where you stay in the UK.
Getting Tested Privately
You may opt for a private hearing test without getting referrals from your general practitioner for several reasons. These reasons include the following:
1. Appointment Availability
Among the most important reasons why many people opt for private hearing tests is appointment availability. An appointment for a hearing test with a professional private audiologist is more readily available than long waiting lists, which come with NHS.
When you book an appointment with a professional private audiologist, you will likely see the expert within a few days after scheduling.
2. More Personalization
According to Which Report, private audiologists are rated 87% by patients based on the services and hearing aids they provide. More reports also show that patients from an independent practice tend to be more likely to feel more cared for and valued. They are provided with unbiased and honest advice, which is bespoke in their hearing care.
3. Better Technology
The NHS lacks better hearing aids, and while they offer basic hearing amplifications, there are limitations in styles and technology. This compromises speech understanding, clarity, and psychological health if patients struggle to follow conversations.
Today, it is an excellent moment for hearing aid design and technology, providing more accessibility and brilliant options than before. Unlike NHS, independent audiologists extensively research and keenly choose who to partner with. Some of the technologies that private audiologists use are:
- Invisible/tiny hearing aids
- Rechargeable batteries
- Smart systems
- Bluetooth technology
- Custom control
NHS hearing tests may cost you little to nothing, but their solutions may take longer to access and may not be suitable for you. So, if you want to meet all your needs and get an opportunity to regain your hearing, consider booking an appointment with an independent audiologist and schedule a hearing test privately.