American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
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Hearing Aids for Adults

What should I know about hearing aids for adults?

Successful hearing aid users are those who are motivated to improve their communication by improving their listening and hearing. They have worked with their audiologist to learn what they can expect from hearing aids. That is, they understand what a hearing aid can and cannot do and how best to operate it. They also have family support.

Audiology Information Series
More information on this topic can be found in our Audiology Information Series [PDF].

Four of 5 Americans with hearing loss do not use hearing aids. Most people don’t realize that the majority of hearing losses can be treated with hearing aids. Untreated hearing loss can cause embarrassment, social stress, tension, and fatigue. This is true not only for the person with the hearing loss but also for family members, friends, and colleagues.

To achieve the best results from a hearing aid, you should meet with a certified audiologist to learn what a hearing aid can and cannot do and how best to operate it. It is important to understand how hearing aids work and how to select, operate, and care for them.

How do hearing aids work?

All hearing aids have a microphone, processors, receiver, and battery compartment. Sound enters the microphone, is amplified and shaped by the processor, converted back into sound by the receiver, and directed out to the ear canal.

What kind of hearing aid is best for me?

A variety of styles are available, so it is important to work with your audiologist to evaluate your needs. The best hearing aid will depend on the nature of your home life, your work environment, and your leisure activities. It is also critical that your hearing aid be adjusted and programmed to provide the best performance given your needs.

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