Hearing aids are never as good as perfect hearing. However, there have been dramatic improvements in technology. In general, it is possible to find a very satisfactory, appropriate hearing aid as long as there is some residual hearing (not total deafness).
Reputable hearing aid dealers, audiologists, speech and hearing centers, and some ear doctor offices dispense hearing aids. Any reputable hearing aid dispenser offers a 30-day return period, during which the hearing aid can be brought back for refund if the user finds it unsatisfactory.
Need To Know:
Selecting a proper hearing aid requires skilled evaluation and testing with numerous devices and electronic adjustments. Door-to-door salespeople do not ordinarily have the capabilities to perform such testing and should generally be avoided.
Hearing aids vary greatly in style and cost. Some fit almost entirely within the ear and are nearly invisible. A larger hearing aid that fits behind the ear may be necessary. Occasionally, for extremely severe hearing losses, traditional “body aids” with a wire are still used, but these are required for only a very small number of people.
Selecting a hearing aid is a very personal process, and it is essential that any potential hearing aid user have the opportunity to listen to a variety of instruments adjusted expertly before making a selection. Affordable, very advanced digital hearing aids are now available. For many people, they really do offer substantially improved sound quality, and digital programming options that make it easier to hear with noise.
Hearing aids can be worn on one or both ears depending upon the hearing loss. There are even CROS (contralateral routing of signals) aids for total deafness in one ear, in which a microphone is placed on the deaf side and transmits sounds by radio signals to the good side. This is a great convenience for many people who have to function in meeting rooms. It is also extremely helpful when driving. For example, a person driving with a deaf right ear has trouble hearing a passenger, especially if the driver’s window is open.