How To Choose A Hearing Aid

How to get what you need within your budget. This article is aimed at the United Kingdom, but can apply globally.

This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to enable you to choose a hearing aid (Hearing System) in the UK with confidence, the minimum of wasted time and at a price which suits you.


A. Private vs. NHS.

If you have your hearing tested by the NHS, it is free, as will be your hearing aids and batteries. There are though, as you might expect, many advantages to having Hearing Aids prescribed through a private ‘Dispensing’ company or individual. These include

Service: private Dispensers have more time for you. Private Hearing Tests are, however, free, just as NHS tests are.

While investigating the history of your ‘Hearing’, which can assist in providing a tailor-made solution for you, the NHS will not have anywhere near as much time to dedicate to you as a private audiologist. A typical NHS consultation last for only 45 minutes, which is not a long time to solve a problem (if there is one) concerning one of your most vital senses. ‘Private’ dispensers/audiologists work under a strict code of practice, which means that you will get the best advice in relation to any hearing test results: if you will not benefit from a Hearing Aid, a private dispenser will tell you this.

The choice of Hearing Instrument is very wide indeed from a private dispenser: the NHS provides only a very limited choice, and within that choice it is very unlikely that the NHS can provide one of the very tiny, discreet ‘in-the-ear’ hearing aid systems.

If you are in any way unhappy with a hearing aid dispenser who visits you, you can show him/her the door, and book an appointment with another company.

Most, if not all, private companies will provide a free ‘follow-up’ service, once you become a client. Do always ask if they can supply free batteries, for how long; and also ask what guarantees apply to your hearing system. It is possible to have up to five years’ guaranteed with your hearing system, although in such cases the discounts you receive will be lower. Nevertheless you should always ask what discounts are on offer: there is always room to negotiate.

Private Hearing Systems are not cheap: NHS systems are free and that also includes batteries. The NHS, however, will rarely visit you at home, unless there are grounds which make it difficult for you to leave your home.

If you have a private system, and run into a problem (i.e. it does not work), there will always be a telephone help service, and if you need a visit from your dispenser you will get one; there will almost certainly be no charge for this (ask first). You would normally have to make an appointment to visit your local ‘ENT’, or hospital to solve any such problem if you have hearing aids supplied by the NHS.

Privately, a hearing system can be prescribed, delivered and accurately programmed usually within about two weeks. Although the NHS has improved its service recently, it is unlikely to 助聽器款式 match the service you will receive if you do ‘go private.’

B. Getting the best from a test.

Try to ensure that your ears are not blocked with wax before the date of your test. If they are, this will mean that your test is likely to be delayed, as the presence of too much wax can affect (detrimentally) the results of a hearing test. Be ready to answer some ‘medical history’ and ‘lifestyle’ questions, which will help the dispenser to help you.

Try to have someone with you during a test. This will ensure that you will be comfortable with what is said and done, and you can always get an opinion from someone you know, in respect of any questions a dispenser may pose. If your hearing is very poor, a friend/relative who is present at the test will ensure that you understand everything being said and asked of you.

Allow an hour to an hour and a half for your test. Be positive about it: any good hearing aid dispenser will genuinely try to help you. So he/she may spend some time in order to explain his/her findings and ultimate recommendations.

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