A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It makes some sounds louder. A hearing aid can help people hear more in both quiet and noisy situations.
Hearing aids help people who have hearing loss from damage to the small sensory cells in the inner ear. The damage can occur as a result of disease, aging, or injury from noise or certain medicines. Only about one out of five people who would benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one. If you think a hearing aid could help you, visit your doctor.
There are different kinds of hearing aids. They differ by size, their placement on or inside the ear, and how much they amplify sound. The hearing aid that will work best for you depends on what kind of hearing loss you have, and how severe it is.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Buying a Hearing Aid (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
- Hearing Aid Buying Guide: Sound Advice (Consumers Union of U.S.)
- Hearing Aids and Personal Sound Amplifiers: Know the Difference (Food and Drug Administration)
- Hearing Aids: How to Choose the Right One (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in Spanish
- Hearing Loss Signals Need for Diagnosis (Food and Drug Administration)
- How to Get Hearing Aids (Food and Drug Administration)
- Other Products and Devices to Improve Hearing (Food and Drug Administration)
Statistics and Research
- Use of Hearing Aids by Adults with Hearing Loss (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Hearing Aids (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Sound therapy (using amplification devices and/or sound generators) for tinnitus.
- Article: Clinical protocol for Hearing Health Services for the care of adults...
- Article: Speech Understanding and Sound Localization with a New Nonimplantable Wearing Option...
- Hearing Aids -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- Directory of Organizations (Deafness and Communication Disorders) (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- Find an Audiologist (American Academy of Audiology)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Going to the Audiologist (Nemours Foundation)
- Hearing Aids (Nemours Foundation)