FAQs

Eye tests

You can check your entitlement for NHS optical services NHS entitlement Your eligibility for a free NHS sight test varies across England, Scotland and Wales.

As long as you get in touch with us ahead of your home appointment, we’ll be happy to do whatever we can to meet your additional support needs. Just contact us (or ask a family member, friend, or doctor to speak to us on your behalf) on 0808 239 0591 or by email at info@outsideclinic.com, and we can talk through your options.

Absolutely. Thanks to our modern and easy-to-move equipment, our opticians can carry out your health check and vision test in the same way as they would if you came to a practice or clinic. Sometimes the exact devices they use are different, but the areas of your vision and overall eye health that they’re testing are the same, and the quality of their results and diagnoses are of the same standard. Yet it’s all in the comfort of your own home.

Relax and make yourself comfortable. We will call you to confirm the appointment and let you know when the optician is on their way to you.

All our staff wear a prominent identity badge, which includes their company ID number. This not only reassures you that they work for us but it also means they’ve got a Disclosure Certificate through the Disclosure and Barring Service (what used to be the CRB), so you know they’ve been assessed and cleared to work with vulnerable adults. But if you’re at all unsure about the person who comes to your door just call us on 0808 239 3602 and we’ll help you check their identity.

Yes, when our optician comes to your home they’ll ask to see proof of your age – or whatever other criteria makes you eligible for the free test. You’ll also need to sign a General Ophthalmic Services application form in order for them to be able to check your eye health and test your vision.

It depends on the exact problems you’re experiencing and what the optician discovers about your overall eye health during the appointment – but normally they’ll be with you for around 60 minutes.

Yes, we can easily provide a range of information about our services in alternative formats or languages – just get in touch with us (or ask a family member, friend, or doctor to talk to us on your behalf) on 0808 239 3602 or by email at info@outsideclinic.com

As long as you get in touch with us ahead of your home appointment, we’ll be happy to do whatever we can to meet your additional support needs. Just contact us (or ask a family member, friend, or doctor to speak to us on your behalf) on 0808 239 3602 or by email at info@outsideclinic.com, and we can talk through your options.

Before the optician examines your eyes they’ll ask you some questions to make sure they understand your general health, your family medical history, and any specific problems you’re experiencing with your vision right now.

The optician will check the general health of your eyes before they test your vision, which will involve using several different pieces of equipment.

When the optician comes to test your vision they’ll use what’s known as ‘the letter chart’, which you’ve probably experienced before. They’ll ask you to look at the letter chart through a variety of different lenses to discover which lens makes your vision the clearest. This will help them understand how long- or short-sighted you are and allow them to fine-tune the prescription you need.

When our optician comes to examine your eyes, they might find you need to update your glasses – or perhaps buy a pair for the first time. If that’s the case then they’ll be happy to show you the wide range of frames we offer, so you can easily find a pair that feel comfortable to wear, suit your face, and fit your budget. If you want to, you can order what you need right then and there.

Hearing tests

Yes, we can easily provide a range of information about our services in alternative formats or languages – just get in touch with us (or ask a family member, friend, or doctor to talk to us on your behalf) on 0808 239 0591 or by email at info@outsideclinic.com.

All our staff wear a prominent identity badge, which includes their company ID number. This not only reassures you that they work for us but it also means they’ve got a Disclosure Certificate through the Disclosure and Barring Service (what used to be the CRB), so you know they’ve been assessed and cleared to work with vulnerable adults. As a company we’re also registered with both the Health Professions Council and your local Primary Care Trust. But if you’re at all unsure about the person who comes to your door just call us on 0808 239 0591 and we’ll help you check their identity.

Absolutely. Thanks to our modern and easy-to-move equipment our hearing specialists can carry out your hearing test in the same way as they would if you came to a practice or clinic. Sometimes the exact devices they use are different, but the areas of your hearing and overall ear health that they’re testing are the same and the quality of their results and diagnoses are of the same standard. Yet it’s all in the comfort of your own home.

It depends on the exact problems you’re experiencing and what the hearing specialist discovers about your overall ear health during the appointment – but normally they’ll be with you for between 60-90 minutes.

Following your initial appointment, we’ll visit you at home again to make sure they fit comfortably. We’ll show you how to use the hearing aids, we will check they are working correctly and explain how to look after them.

If you are not satisfied with your hearing aids in any way contact us in writing, by telephone or in email as soon as you are aware. If we are unable to meet your expectations or satisfaction within a reasonable amount of time you are entitled to a full refund of costs paid towards your hearing aids. This applies to the first 60 days following delivery and fitting. All warranties are in addition to your statutory (legal) rights.

Aftercare is included with all of our hearing aids here at OutsideClinic. Aftercare is available for the lifetime of your hearing aids. Just call 0808 239 3504. Our hearing care specialists are on hand to give you the help you need. 

If you would like extra peace of mind, you can protect your hearing aids against accidental damage with our Hearing CarePlus Plan.

Yes, many people wear glasses with Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids.

We have lots of helpful advice for maintaining your BTE hearing aids, from turning them on and off to changing the wax filter. 

A guide to BTE hearing aids

We have lots of helpful advice for maintaining your ITE hearing aids, from turning them on and off to changing the wax filter.

A guide to ITE hearing aids

Not all NHS hearing aids are Bluetooth-enabled. It depends on various factors such as the specific NHS trust, the model of the hearing aid, and budget considerations.

NHS hearing aid services typically focus on providing basic, functional hearing aids that meet the essential hearing needs of patients. 

If you're looking for an NHS hearing aid with Bluetooth connectivity, it's important to discuss your needs with your Audiologist or hearing care professional. 

Care Homes

Check out this blog for more information: What to expect during a sight test

We offer a wide range of frames following the sight test. As we learn more about residents with our eye care planning tools, our dispensers can also help them choose a frame during our visit. If you currently have a pair of our glasses, you can identify your glasses and their purpose with special engraving or our Eyewear Reminder.

We will personally deliver your glasses to you. We'll make sure that your glasses feel comfortable on your face and make any adjustments before we leave your home.

Our optometrists  dementia sensitivity training to ensure we can communicate and engage with every person we help. Being able to communicate appropriately helps to ease anxiety and enable them to have a sight test.

As sight is a key sense, it's vital for everyone to have a regular sight test, whether you're living with dementia or otherwise. Better sight helps us to interpret the world around us and safely navigate our surroundings. This is especially important for someone living with dementia, who may experience disorientation as the condition damages the part of the brain the controls memory recall.

bloom hearing specialists™ rebrand

You'll still receive the same great hearing healthcare service from our dedicated team, but we are now part of the UK's largest domiciliary company.

OutsideClinic are accredited by IQIPS and have been a trusted provider of domiciliary hearing care for over 35 years, bringing a wealth of experience to our service, so we’re now equipped to serve you even better.

Rest assured, it's the same quality care, now with more resources and decades of experience to support you.

The bloom hearing specialists™ brand name will retire and become OutsideClinic on Monday 15th January.

Any existing appointments booked in will happen as normal unless you’ve received any communication to say otherwise.

Your existing Audiologist will continue to work with OutsideClinic as part of a bigger team who will be able to offer you the same excellent service that you have been used to.

Yes, we will continue to offer the same range of products. Alongside these, we regularly update our range to include the latest and best in hearing technology. This means you'll always have access to both the products you trust and new, innovative options.

You are still entitled to free aftercare and free home visits. You may find variants in prices of other products such as cell batteries. For the best prices on accessories, order through online shop: https://www.outsideclinic.co.uk/shop.

No, any existing warranties, repairs and aftercare will not be affected by this change. You will continue to receive free repairs within warranty.

Your data will be securely transferred to OutsideClinic who will hold and maintain your personal data in order to continue to be of service to you.

For more information, please see the privacy policy: https://www.outsideclinic.co.uk/privacy-policy/.

The branches will be rebranded to OutsideClinic and will remain open as normal with the same team. However, please note that the stores will still be open by appointment only. We're committed to providing personalised care, and operating by appointment helps us do just that.

Any future bookings can be made through the OutsideClinic website, by calling 0800 60 50 40, or the phone number you previously used to contact bloom hearing specialists™. You can also contact us by email on info@outsideclinic.com.

Yes, this will still be honoured.

You can access the online hearing test on the OutsideClinic website here: https://www.outsideclinic.co.uk/free-online-hearing-check

If you still have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at 0800 60 50 40 or customerservices@bloomhearing.co.uk.

Hearing aid FAQs

  1. Check that the batteries are not dead. Close the battery door. The hearing aid will play a sound signal to indicate that it is on unless your Audiologist has deactivated this function.
  2. Following the battery check, check if sound is still being produced by trapping the hearing aid in your hand with your fingers wrapped around the aid. If you can hear the aid whistle, then sound is being produced.
  3. If sound is still produced, then you should check your tips, earmoulds and tubing for blockages. Remove any visible wax with a small brush or cloth. If the wax filter is blocked, then replace this – do not clean it.
  4. Then you can also check that the microphone opening is not blocked. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe over the top of the aid and remove any visible wax or debris.

If you’re new to wearing hearing aids, then it’s worth noting that it takes time for your brain to get used to the sounds. What appeared to be loud enough at the start may seem quiet or dull after a few days or weeks of regular use. This is normal and may just mean that an Audiologist needs to fine tune the settings.

There are however some other factors which you should check to make sure your hearing aids are working effectively:

  1. If sound is still dull, then you should check your tips, earmoulds and tubing for blockages. Remove any visible wax with a small brush or cloth. If the wax filter is blocked, then replace this – do not clean it.
  2. Then you can also check that the microphone opening is not blocked. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe over the top of the aid and remove any visible wax or debris.
  3. Check the volume level. Try adjusting the volume in case this has been set to a lower level than you normally use. If there is no change to the volume level then please call us.
  4. Change the program. If applicable, try changing to a different program. If there is no difference to the volume level between programs then please call us.
  5. If you are confident that there is nothing wrong with your hearing aids, then it could be that your ears could be blocked with wax, or your hearing ability may have changed. If you feel that this is the case then please contact us.

For many new hearing aid users, they have spent years not hearing higher pitched sounds. Hearing birdsong and the voices of women and children clearly again is of great benefit, but they might find other buzzing and humming sounds, like their fridge freezer, annoying.

Most people will adapt to hearing these sounds again very quickly, but if they prevent you from wearing your hearing aids regularly then please get in contact and our Audiologists can make adjustments.

  1. Check the hearing aid batteries. If the battery level is low then performance can be affected so replace the batteries. Also if you see any damage or corrosion to the batteries then carefully remove them and replace. If the sound is still distorted then please call us. 
  2. Check the battery contacts. If the contacts (small metal prongs) are bent or not in good shape then please call us. 
  3. Change the program. If applicable, try changing to a different program. If the sound is still distorted then please call us. 
  4. Check the hearing aids. If you can see any damage or defects then please call us. 

If the sound is still distorted then please call us. 

Most hearing aids have automatic feedback cancellation but there are some instances where feedback (whistling) can occur.

  1. Check if your hearing aids are getting covered up. If you are wearing a hat or scarf then make sure that it does not cover up the hearing aids. This also applies if you are leaning your ears against a cushion or pillow.
  2. Check your hearing aids are fitted correctly. A poor fit will cause feedback so ensure your hearing aids are fitted correctly. Take the hearing aid device itself out and refit. If the hearing aids or tips/earmoulds still do not fit correctly then please contact us.
  3. Check your volume level. If this is set too high then feedback can occur so adjust your volume to a lower level. If you are unable to hear at this lower level then it is possible your hearing has changed so please contact us to arrange a free hearing assessment.
  4. A build-up of wax can cause feedback so if you feel this is the case then please contact us for advice on wax removal.

Read more about whistling hearing aids here

Hearing aids should not be uncomfortable to wear throughout the day.

However, if this is the first time you have worn hearing aids then it can take a couple of weeks for you to get used to them. This is usually done by wearing them for a short period and gradually building up the time worn.

If you have worn hearing aids for some time then it is possible they are not correctly placed in your ear so take them out and refit.

If they are still causing you discomfort then please contact us.

Still need help?

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch - we’re always happy to help.

Get in touch

Book an eye test today

Please fill in the form to request a home eye test and one of our team will be in touch. 

If you have any questions, please call our friendly team on 0800 60 50 40.

Book an eye test