Save a GP appointment – test your own hearing!

Many people worry that the youth of today might be damaging their hearing with the constant use of headphones playing “banging” tunes directly into their brains. Well, perhaps they are all obsessed with how good their hearing is and are constantly checking it?

No? Ok being serious, here is a great app called Uhear that you can use yourself or recommend people use to test their own hearing. It’s quite clever and easy to do. You need a quiet room and headphones, though it will measure and adjust for some background noise. It does a classic pure tone audiogram and it seems remarkably good. It has detected I have a small mid-frequency hearing loss worse in my right ear which I’ve suspected for a while now.

In reality, almost everyone these days is offering free hearing tests based on being providers of digital hearing aids and I suspect the trick is publicising this to try and prevent people making a GP appointment in the first place as certainly I still get people coming in and all I do is tell them to go to the local opticians.

Of course, if they had told reception why they wanted an appointment – reception would have signposted them and saved me the hassle – assuming they all did the same. So Question 1 – do all receptionists know the same level of information about what we should and shouldn’t be seeing? And how do you standardise this?

Also, perhaps makers of appointment booking apps or web services should offer this service – the hearing test – as part of their workflow or at least know a list of local providers of free services? Ok this app might not link in but its proven the ability. What about eye tests? surely they could be next?

Having had an event trying to choose a provider of appointment triage systems maybe what we should have been asking is

  1. Do you do any testing on the pt? hearing, eye checks, BP, Pulse ox, urine
  2. Do you ask what it is they want and divert them – e.g. teeth problems.. go to dentist… etc