If you have hearing loss and your GP can't find a reason, such as a build-up of ear wax, you'll need to see an audiologist (hearing specialist) who will test to see whether hearing aids could help. You can either be referred to an NHS audiology service for free NHS hearing aids or see a private hearing provider if you prefer.
Can I choose the type of hearing aids I get?
You can’t always choose the type of hearing aids you get from the NHS. But the model you get should fit comfortably and suit your particular hearing loss. Plus, the audiologist will programme them to meet your hearing needs. If you go to a private provider, you’ll be able to choose between basic, mid-range and high-end hearing aids, depending on your needs and how much money you wish to spend. Some private hearing care providers only sell certain brands of hearing aid, or just their own, so your choice will be limited. Make sure you don’t let someone point you towards only one or two expensive models – there may be cheaper ones that suit your needs just as well. It’s also worth checking you’re not spending your money on a model that you could get free from the NHS.
Find a hearing care provider
Under a scheme called Any Qualified Provider (AQP), some private hearing care providers also deliver NHS adult-audiology services for free in England. So, if the scheme is available in your area, and you meet the criteria, you’ll have more choice about which service you are referred to.
For more information, see our leaflet getting hearing aids.