Updated: Jan 23, 2022
What many of my customers want to know, is can private hearing aids help them? What are the reasons why, in the UK where we have the NHS, we should pay good money for hearing aids?
It’s a really good question.
In some circumstances, quite honestly, NHS aids are fine. The NHS provide aids that are the equivalent to the second least expensive bottle of wine on the restaurant’s list. Except for the fact that you can’t choose the style or the service! Around the home, you will manage fine with an NHS aid.
So why pay? Well, if you’re struggling in groups or in background noise, private aids have the advantage because you can choose that higher level of technology. You can also get home based service, and expect a convenient appointment. Your repairs will be carried out in a timely manner. Your service will be unrushed.
Some problems with hearing aids are universal, and for this reason you’ll be disappointed if you specifically want to fix these:
Not being able to hear at distance. Aids have a working range. They are not designed to pick up sound 6 metres away - and if they were you would not like it!
Not being able to hear people from upstairs - again, they are not miraculous. A shouted voice at 80dB will only be whisper-level when it reaches you, and the washing machine next to you will be louder. Training your partner to come downstairs before talking is easier than overcoming physics!
Blocking all background noise. Hearing aids restore hearing. Hearing people hear background noise - the reality of only hearing speech would be very unnatural and unpleasant.
What private aids can do is improve your situation in noise, helping background noise to become comfortable and helping you focus on the speaker. They do this very well indeed. We can also improve on the sound quality over and above the NHS. No more tinny sound, no more dull sound or echo/boom. No more struggling, or avoiding situations. No more wind noise making you leave the aids at home. No more aids falling out if you straighten your hair. No more discomfort.
Personally, I have never met anyone who wanted to go back to NHS aids or cheaper aids. It’s a forward only journey for most, and choosing a dispenser who will help you get the right tech for you and explain how to choose an aid that will last for years to come is how you get value for money when shopping for this life-changing purchase.