How can I choose a good hearing aid?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Your audiologist will most likely help you in choosing the best hearing aid. Choosing a hearing aid depends partly on how much hearing loss you have, how small you want the aid to be, and the situations in which you intend to use it. Some hearing aids are either completely or partially in your ear canal, while others are in your ear or behind your ear. Usually, hearing aids have a trial period so that you can decide whether the aid works well for you. The price of the hearing aid, as well as how long the aid's battery lasts, may also be factors for you in choosing an aid.

David M. Vernick, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Each year, people buy hearing aids that don't help them hear better. One reason is that frauds and scams involving hearing aids are common. Some disreputable dispensers sell hearing aids to people who don't need them. Others talk patients into buying the most expensive hearing aids and neglect to mention less costly options. Still others fit patients poorly, so that the devices are uncomfortable or don't work well. For years, hearing aid dispensers have advertised to consumers in magazines and on TV, and some have even canvassed neighborhoods trying to sell hearing aids door to door.

The potential for fraud is now greater than ever because of the Internet. Web sites and online advertisements may be good sources of information about dispensers. But do a search for the term "hearing aids" and you'll find hundreds of Web sites selling hearing aids, some of which will sell you a device sight unseen. Steer clear of purchasing a hearing aid through the Internet or even through a magazine ad unless you have fully researched the company and received recommendations from sources you trust, including your doctor and an audiologist (a professional who assesses hearing and balance, as well as fits and dispenses hearing aids).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.