All About Hearing Aids – A Consumer's Guide

Purchasing a hearing aid can be a difficult and confusing decision without the proper guidance and information. This fact sheet from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary will help guide your choices dispel some myths.

How to Know if You Need a Hearing Aid

The best way to determine if you have hearing loss and need a hearing aid is to get an audiological evaluation from an audiologist. An audiologist is a licensed professional with doctoral or master's level training, who can perform the tests required to fully and accurately assess your hearing loss and advise you whether hearing aids may be of benefit.

The audiologist may recommend that you have an examination by an ear doctor to rule out any medical problems that may rule out hearing aids (not every type of deafness or hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids). Typically, the physician's exam, the audiological evaluation and the Hearing Aid Center appointment can be scheduled and completed on the same day.

How Hearing Aids Work

The hearing aid is like a very small PA or public address system, amplifying sound with a microphone, amplifier and loudspeaker. The hearing aid is a small, battery-powered electronic device with the same three basic components: a microphone that picks up sound around you, an amplifier that makes the sound louder, and a receiver that delivers the amplified sound to your ear.