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)
- Hearing Loss Signals Need for Diagnosis (Food and Drug Administration) Also in Spanish
- How to Get Hearing Aids (Food and Drug Administration)
- Genetics Home Reference: deafness and myopia syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Different Styles of Hearing Aids (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
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)
Find an Expert
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Directory of Organizations (Deafness and Communication Disorders) (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)
- Find a Professional: Online Directory of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Programs (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
- Find an Audiologist (American Academy of Audiology)
- National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
- Hearing Aids (Nemours Foundation)