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How to get hearing aids

How to get hearing aids

You can only get hearing aids from an audiologist (hearing specialist), after you’ve had your hearing tested.

Step 1: get your hearing tested

You have 2 options for getting a full hearing test:

  1. Your GP can refer you to an NHS audiology service.
  2. You can go directly to a private hearing care provider.

If your hearing test shows that you have hearing loss, the audiologist will explain what type and level of hearing loss you have. They’ll also chat to you about what treatments, including hearing aids, are available.

Hearing tests and any treatments you need, including high-quality hearing aids, are free through the NHS.

Many private hearing care providers offer free hearing tests, but you’ll need to pay for any hearing aids you need if you stay with a private provider.

Check your hearing online

You can find out if your hearing is in a normal range or if you might have hearing loss in just 3 minutes with the RNID online hearing check. It’s not a full hearing test, but it’ll let you know if you need one.

Step 2: Find out what your options are

You can get hearing aids free on the NHS or pay for them privately.

They come in a range of shapes and sizes, and the right one for you will depend on:

  • your type and level of hearing loss
  • the size of your ear canal
  • your lifestyle
  • how much money you’d like to spend if you go private.

Your audiologist will help you find the best type of hearing aid for you.

We worked with Which? to produce a free guide to different types of hearing aids available on the NHS and privately.

Read the Which? guide to NHS hearing aids

Read the Which? guide to private hearing aids

Contact us

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.

We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Get more information by email

At RNID, we offer free information and support to the 12 million people living with hearing loss in the UK.

Sign up for a series of emails from our Information Team to find out more about getting hearing aids, including:

  • the types of hearing aids available  
  • communication tips while you wait for them
  • and how you can look after them. 

Page last updated: 16 August 2022

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