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)
- Buying a Hearing Aid (Federal Trade Commission)
- Hearing Aid (Food and Drug Administration)
- 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) Available in Spanish
- How to Get Hearing Aids (Food and Drug Administration)
- Different Styles of Hearing Aids (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association)
Videos and Tutorials
- Bone Anchored Hearing Treatment Procedure (OR-Live) - Hartford Hospital, Hartford, CT, 1/17/2008
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 ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Frequency Modulation System and speech perception in the classroom: a...
- Article: Functional Results and Subjective Benefit of a Transcutaneous Bone Conduction...
- Article: Asymmetric Hearing During Development: The Aural Preference Syndrome and Treatment...
- Hearing Aids -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- 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
- Hearing Aids (Nemours Foundation)