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How Do You Get a NHS Hearing Aid?
If you or your family think that your hearing is detiriorating and you live in the UK, it's time to look in to getting a hearin aid. We walk through what the process is like living in the UK and getting a hearing aid through the National Health Service.
Get Your Ears Checked By Your GP
The process of getting an NHS hearing aid starts with a visit to your GP. They will need to take a look in your ears and take a brief history to see whether you need to bee seen by the Ear Nose and Throat Department before seeing a hearing specialist about a hearing aid.
You will need to make sure your ears are not blocked with wax and you can confirm this with your GP when they look into your ears. It is important that your ear is either clear of wax or has a minimal amount of ear wax. A blockage of ear wax means the process of getting an NHS hearing aid will be delayed and you potentially may waste appointments due to not being able to have procedures done that require a clear ear canal.
Seeing A Hospital Audiologist
You will be referred to a hospital audiology department or a private hearing aid clinic, depending on the county that you live in. Some hearing assessments are even held at GP surgeries. To be fitted with a hearing aid you will need a hearing test.
Your hearing test might show hearing levels that at that point in time do not require a hearing aid and that your hearing should be monitored.
However if your hearing test does show a hearing aid would be beneficial then your audiologist or hearing aid dispenser will make recommendations for either one or two NHS hearing aids. Your hearing test will provide the base information used to program your hearing aid.
Once you have had your hearing test and discussed the type of NHS hearing aid you will be receiving, it might be fitted there and then but is more likely to be booked an another appointment a few weeks later. Especially if an ear mould is required for your NHS hearing aid, this will take time to be made and processed.
Getting An NHS Hearing Aid
An NHS hearing aid is free and is not going to cost you any money, however it is worth remembering that your NHS hearing aid is 'on loan' from the NHS and therefore when it comes to upgrading your hearing aid in the future, your previous hearing aid will need to be returned.
Also if you loose your hearing aid you could be charged. It takes time to get used to wearing an NHS hearing aid and that is why it important to be prepared that your new NHS hearing aid will take time to learn how to use, how to put into your ear as well as take your brain time to adjust to how it sounds.
So to recap:
To get a new NHS hearing aid you will:
- See your GP
- Have little or no ear wax in your ears
- Need to have ear wax removed if you do have a lot of ear wax
- Need to provide information about your ear and medical history
- Have a hearing test
- Bring hearing aid with you that you are currently wearing if bought privately
- Have at least one or two appointments at a hearing aid clinic or audiology department
- Not need to pay for the NHS hearing aid
- Be prepared to take time to acclimitise and adjust