Fitting A Private Hearing Aid

When you have a hearing aid fitted, it’s important to check that it works well and fits you, so that you are as comfortable as possible. An appointment to fit a hearing aid may take up to an hour.

Your audiologist will place your hearing aid and check the fit; if it doesn’t fit perfectly, this is nothing to worry about, as the size can be altered and your audiologist will usually be able to trim it to size without any problems. Once the fit is perfect, your audiologist will then check that the hearing aid is working properly and that you are receiving a clear sound; if you are not happy with the way the sound is transmitted or you feel uncomfortable in any way, don’t hesitate to mention this, as it can take a little adjusting to get the sound right. It is important to remember that a hearing aid won’t enable you to hear perfectly; it will simply improve your ability to hear by making sounds louder. Your audiologist will explain how the hearing aid works and show you how to use it and you can ask any questions you have.

When you are happy with your hearing aid, you will be free to go home and regular follow-up appointments will be advised. If you have any issues or problems, don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.

Sometimes, it can take a little time to get used to wearing and using a hearing aid, but you shouldn’t find it painful or uncomfortable; if you do find wearing your hearing aid painful or you are worried about the quality or clarity of the sound, don’t suffer in silence, as there are things that can be done to improve your hearing and reduce any discomfort. To begin with, it may feel slightly odd to have your hearing aids in, but you should soon get used to it; if you still feel uncomfortable after a few days or a week, contact your audiologist and arrange another appointment.  

Difference Between An NHS Hearing Aid And A Private Hearing Aid

Hearing aids are provided by the NHS and private health providers; sometimes, the type of hearing aid is the same, but there are differences between NHS services and private clinics; these include:

  • Variety: often, private clinics offer a wider range of hearing tests and hearing aids and some aids that are offered by private providers are not available on the NHS. This tends to relate to the most modern innovations, but this is not always the case and it’s worth researching which types of hearing aid are available from your local NHS audiology department, as well as those you can get privately.
  • Facilities: private facilities tend to be more modern and stylish; many feature contemporary décor and furnishings and they also offer additional perks, such as a welcome drink and comfortable waiting rooms, which are equipped with the latest multimedia technology to entertain you while you wait.
  • Waiting times: waiting times are generally shorter when you go private; generally speaking, you will wait around 2 weeks for a hearing aid from a private dispenser in comparison to 4-6 weeks from an NHS department.
  • Convenience: private clinics and dispensaries may be more convenient for you; for example, if you get your hearing aid from a high street optician, this will probably be closer and easier to get to than a hospital. Some providers also offer home appointments, which are ideal for patients who struggle to get out and about.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Private Hearing Aids

Advantages of private hearing aids include:

  • You can choose from a wider range of products, including the latest in-ear hearing aids and those that boast wireless technology
  • Appointments are often available  during weekends and evenings
  • Turnaround time is quicker
  • Home visits may be available in some cases
  • You own the hearing aid, rather than loaning it from the NHS

Disadvantages include:

  • Cost: private hearing aids can be expensive; the latest digital hearing aids may cost up to £2,000
  • Additional costs, including new batteries and replacements, apply, so you will need to factor this in as well as the cost of the new aid

Advantages And Disadvantages Of NHS Hearing Aids

  • available free of charge
  • repairs are usually covered
  • batteries may also be provided

Disadvantages of NHS hearing aids include:

  • restricted range of aids; usually, behind the ear hearing aids are provided; you may have to pay privately if you want another type of aid
  • waiting times are longer between the referral and the fitting of the hearing aid
  • you may be liable for costs if you lose or damage the hearing aid
  • the hearing aid is only on loan

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