Hearing test centres, opticians and dentists are among those healthcare businesses which have adapted their services amid the coronavirus pandemic, putting routine appointments on hold. But for those who experience frightening issues with their hearing, a hearing test may be desired, but can you get a hearing test under the new lockdown guidelines?
Hearing tests and appointments generally are available free on the NHS.
Your GP may refer you to a hearing specialist who can undertake the test, but it can take a few weeks to see this specialist.
At times it will be quicker to arrange a test with a large pharmacy or opticians which will offer this service, however, there may be costs inferred for this service.
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson implemented the lockdown restrictions on March 23, all non-essential businesses were forced to close.
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On Sunday, May 10, the PM announced new alterations to the current lockdown guidelines outlining the country’s blueprint for the gradual easing of restrictions.
The changes announced by Mr Johnson include:
- Encouraging those who cannot work from home to return to work, such as food production, construction and manufacturing.
- From June 1, nurseries are expected to reopen, in addition to primary school reception, year one and year six classes.
- From wednesday, two people from different households are permitted to meet in outdoor settings, as long as they stay more than two metres apart.
- The rules regarding exercise have been relaxed meaning there is now no limit to the amount of exercise allowed.
- People are now permitted to drive to destinations to exercise such as a park or a beach.
- Larger fines will be imposed on those break social distancing rules, with penalties rising for repeat offenders.
Medical services were not included in this mandate.
However, several non-urgent and routine healthcare operators have closed their doors for all but essential appointments.
This means routine health checks have often been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
However, medical services have been keen to emphasise people are able to access any help they need for urgent concerns.
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Can you get a hearing test during lockdown?
Hearing tests, hearing aid assessments and hearing aid fittings for new patients have bee put on hold.
If you are waiting for new hearing aids to be fitted, you should contact your hearing aid provider.
This should be able to give you more insight into when you will be able to get them fitted.
In the interim, Action on Hearing Loss advises you use assisted listening devices such as hearing loos or conversation amplifiers which might help.
Your smartphone may be able to assist you many of which have sound amplification software.
Other ways you can get a hearing test
There are simple hearing tests online which can often be used as a basis for advising if you should seek out a face-to-face hearing test.
Several pharmacies and opticians also offer hearing tests.
The test is often free, but you’ll normally have to pay for any treatment you might need (such as hearing aids).
What should you do if you have a problem with your hearing aids
Most hearing aid providers are able to undertake repairs to hearing aids via post.
New batteries and tubing can also be provided via post as well.
For any adjustments, repairs and replacement parts can be made available when you contact your hearing aid provider.
If you suddenly lose your hearing should contact your optician, your GP or NHS 111 for advice as soon as possible.
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