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NHS Hearing Aids vs Private Hearing Aids

When it’s time to get a hearing aid, you usually have the choice of using NHS-provided aids or purchasing from the private sector. But what’s the best option for you?

It’s important to know what you want going into the process, especially since getting a hearing aid isn’t a one-day procedure. It can take several appointments to test your hearing, determine the best course of treatment, choose the aids, get them fitted, and adjusted. So, let’s talk about the benefits and drawbacks of both hearing aid options.


Pros and Cons of NHS Hearing Aids


  • NHS hearing aids are provided for free in addition to follow-up appointments, batteries, and tubing.
  • You can sometimes have the items posted to you if you don’t want to go to the clinic.
  • Problems with the hearing aids due to normal wear and tear are addressed at no extra cost to you.
  • When your current aids reach the end of their life, usually about five to six years, you receive new ones for free.


  • Getting NHS aids can take a long time. It can be more than six weeks before you’re seen by an Audiologist and another six weeks before being fitted with your hearing aids, this varies based on the County or hospital itself.
  • While the NHS does have some of the latest hearing aid models, they generally don’t have all the bells and whistles. Most models available are Behind the Ear (BTE) styles.
  • If you should lose your aids due to your own negligence you may need to pay for replacements.


Pros and Cons of Private Hearing Aids


  • Private hearing aid dispensers have access to all styles, colours, and technologically advanced hearing aids. You can get ones that match your hair color or skin tone.
  • You can have aids that connect to your mobile and have an app.
  • At private clinics, you may feel less like a number and more like a person. You will be able to get appointments faster and receive your hearing aids quicker than at the NHS with full high level clinical care (especially if you are a patient of ours at Pindrop Hearing).


  • The hearing aid you get, along with any additional features, will depend on what you can afford but it’s important to discuss this with your Audiologist based around your lifestyle.
  • Sometimes it can take a few follow-up appointments for the Audiologist to get your aids adjusted properly but the outcome will be superior.
  • If you choose invisible hearing aids (not available from most NHS departments) they can need repairs more often due to sweat and earwax buildup.


Which Hearing Aid Should You Choose?

When it comes to choosing hearing aids there is no one right answer for every person. Your diagnosis is different, your needs are different, even your ears are different. Do your research and make sure you pick the best hearing aid for your situation.

Feeling like choosing a hearing aid is a minefield? Let us help – we would love to hear from you and give you highly qualified advice and start you off (or help you continue) your hearing aid journey.

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