NHS website

Hearing tests

Hearing tests are used to assess your ability to hear different sounds and to determine if there are any problems.

15 March 2018


There are several ways you can get your hearing tested if it's getting gradually worse.

How to get an NHS hearing test

You can get a free hearing test on the NHS. Your GP may refer you to a hearing specialist (audiologist) who can do the test.

It could take a few weeks to see the specialist. So it will probably be quicker to get tested somewhere else, like at a large pharmacy or opticians, although you may have to pay for this.


Always see a GP first if:

  • you also have other symptoms, like earache or discharge – this could be something easily treatable like an earwax build-up ↗ or ear infection ↗
  • you have sudden hearing loss in one ear
  • you're worried about your child's hearing

Other ways to get a hearing test

Online hearing test

You can do a simple online hearing test ↗ on the Action on Hearing Loss website.

This can tell you if you need to have a face-to-face hearing test.

Pharmacies and opticians

Lots of large pharmacies and opticians can do hearing tests.

The test is often free, but you'll normally have to pay for any treatment you might need (such as hearing aids).