NHS Digital Hearing Aids Compared With Private Digital Hearing Aids

In the past, digital hearing aids were only available privately, but they are now widely available on the NHS. Digital hearing aids are often preferred to analogue hearing aids because they offer greater versatility and the ability to filter sounds, which makes it easier to focus on the sounds you wish to hear. Digital hearing aids tend to be more expensive than analogue hearing aids; however, all hearing aids are provided free of charge on the NHS on a long-term loan basis, so if you have access to a digital hearing aid in your area, it may be worth going with NHS treatment, rather than private treatment, as it will save you a lot of money.

Although the NHS offers digital hearing aids, the range of hearing aids that is available is much wider if you go to a private hearing aid dispenser. Generally speaking, ITE (in the ear), ITC (in the canal) and CIC (completely in the canal) hearing aids are not available on the NHS; however, there may be exceptions under certain clinical circumstances. Invisible hearing aids (IIC) are also only available from private dispensers at the moment.

The question of whether or not it is worth going private depends on a number of factors, which may or may not be relevant to you. Cost is a major issue and many people find that their NHS digital hearing aids give them a host of benefits without them having to pay a penny; waiting times may be an issue for some people and typically, you'll wait a lot longer for NHS treatment than you would if you went to a private hearing aid dispenser. The range of hearing aids is also greater from private providers and this may be particularly important to you if you're eager to have a very discreet hearing aid. It is worth noting that you can choose from a range of different colours and designs on the NHS now.

If you're not desperate for a certain make or model and your hearing prescription means that most types of hearing aid are viable for you, it is always worth doing some research and weighing up your options. The NHS bulk buys, which enables it to enjoy preferable prices and you may find that you can get the same level of quality and a similar design for free.

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