Ask the expert

Difficulty hearing in background noise

My Mother has worn NHS hearing aids for several years now. She has difficulty in hearing individual people when she's in a crowd, for example at family parties. Background noise is loud and distracting. She feels that this means she can either wear the aid but the general sound level is too overpowering, or not wear the aid, in which case she can't properly hear what is said to her. As a result she fluctuates between wearing an aid or not wearing it. My question is - If she pays for a private aid will this improve the quality of the sound she hears such that distracting background noise is diminished? - for example specsavers aids seem to offer advanced sound processing for demanding noisy conditions. Does this work better than the standard NHS aid?

Answer: 

Most modern digital hearing aids have some sort of noise reduction technology inside them. Whilst they can offer some help in very challenging hearing environments, no hearing aids can get rid of background noise altogether. The purchase of private hearing aids might give some benefit over the NHS aids but, as with normally hearing people, it will still be challenging to hear clearly in noisy conditions. There are various tactics that can be used by people with hearing difficulties to assist them in difficult situations. Many websites, such as Deafness Research UK, give lots of advice on communication tactics for people with hearing impairment.

Was this answer helpful?

We recommend you seek professional advice if you are concerned about your hearing

Book an appointment

Search for more answers:

Ask the Expert

Ask an Expert

Speak to one of our qualified optometrists or audiologists

Ask the Expert