NHS Hearing Aids Types

The NHS is able to provide a number of hearing aid types and models for free on a loan basis. In this blog post, we run-through which hearing aid types are available from the NHS. We also offer affordable alternatives to NHS for hearing aids and you can order digital hearing aids online directly from our website.

Which Hearing Aid Types are available from the NHS?

Types of NHS hearing aid available are analogue or digital and include Behind The Ear, Body-worn, Bone Conduction, Bone Anchored, CROS and BiCROS hearing aids.

HearingDirect offers affordable alternatives to the NHS for hearing aids such as Behind The Ear, In The Ear, Completely In Canal and Receiver In Canal hearing aids.

Behind The Ear Hearing Aids:

BTE hearing aids are one of the most popular styles of hearing aids. They have two main parts - the plastic part with the electronics, goes behind the ear; the ear mould sits in the bowl of the ear. For the ear mould to fit, an impression of the individual ear is taken. Modern types of behind the ear hearing aids feature an open fit technology. They do not require an ear mould but instead, provide a tiny tube that goes into the entrance of the ear finishing in a speaker. This provides a clear and more natural sound and fit. However, these models are not always available from the NHS.

Body-worn Hearing Aids:

The body-worn hearing aids consist of an ear mould/earphones equipped with a loudspeaker connected to a small box containing the controls, battery, and an amplifier that you can attach to your clothes or put in your pocket. Although the NHS still provides these types of hearing aids in certain cases, they are not very popular anymore.

Bone Conduction Hearing Aids:

These hearing aids conduct the sound to the inner ear through the skull bones. The device has a part holding the microphone and a headband equipped with a bone conductor, which vibrates when the microphone transmits sound.

Bone-anchored Hearing Aids:

The bone-anchored hearing aids are actually a type of bone conduction hearing aid. The difference is that they require an implant in the bone of the skull behind your ear. It then connects to a small case with a microphone and a sound processor.

CROS & BiCROS Hearing Aids:

These types of hearing aids are suitable for people who have hearing only in one ear. The hearing aid transmits the sound signal to your hearing ear. The hearing aid usually consists of two connected behind the ear hearing aids.

Obtaining Hearing Aids from the NHS

In the UK a limited range of Hearing Aids are provided by the NHS for free. The hearing aids are provided depending on your need and you will probably not get a choice of which type of hearing aid you are given. You will not be charged for repair works and batteries.

However, be aware that the hearing aids are provided as a loan and not as a gift. You will not own the hearing aid. Also, if the NHS hearing aids incur any damage, you may well be charged repair or replacement. It may also take time to receive your hearing aid.

Your first point of contact should be your GP who will refer you to the local audiology department. As a first step you could take our online hearing test which is free, takes 3 minutes and we will email your results to you straight away in the form of an audiogram. You can then take this audiogram to your GP.

Guidance from the NHS states that "If you don't mind paying for treatment, you can choose to go to a private hearing aid provider directly." The NHS does not offer all the types of hearing aids available privately or the newest models with the latest features. For those models, you will have to turn to an alternate dispenser such as ourselves.

Buying a hearing aid privately may not be as expensive as you think. At HearingDirect we specialise in affordable hearing aids. We offer many more types of hearing aid which have the latest technology.

Hearing Aids from Hearing Direct

We are one of the UK's leading hearing aid specialists and at hearingdirect.com you will find a superb set of affordable alternatives to the NHS for hearing aids. Our focus is price and we have removed many of the hefty costs associated with hearing aids and passed those savings directly on to you. NHS guidance suggests typical costs of hearing aids may range from £500 to £3,500 or more for a single hearing aid. All our hearing aids are below the lowest price in this range.

Our range starts with our entry-level device, the HD 91 Digital Hearing Aid. We also have a range of mid-tier models which a valuable set of features designed to improve your ability to hear properly and clearly. This includes the likes of the HD 230 and P 640S. For the ultimate hearing experience, the virtually invisible Signia Silk 3Nx Digital Hearing Aid and the behind the ear Signia Motion 13 1Nx Digital Hearing Aid are our top-end aids packed with all the latest impressive features you will need from a hearing aid.

For some added discretion, try an invisible hearing aid.

Further Information

Our blog is home to a number of valuable resources and articles. You find all sorts of topics from guides on hearing loss, all the way to product and brand reviews.

Other NHS posts you may also be interested in:

About Hearing Direct

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Author: Joan McKechnie

After qualifying as a Speech-Language Pathologist and Audiologist Joan has spent most of her 20 year career in hearing-care related roles. She has a wealth of experience within the hearing aid and hearing rehabilitation fields and has worked in manufacturing environments with two hearing aid companies helping to develop products and roll out new technologies. Joan has been involved with Hearing Direct since its launch and enjoys the online retail environment which seeks to provide easier access to hearing products and accessories. She is HCPC registered. Read Joan's full bio here.