Having trouble hearing? Over 35 million children and adults in the United States have so
me degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss can have a negative effect on communication, relationships, school/work performance, and emotional well-being. However, hearing loss doesn’t have to restrict your daily activities. Properly fitted hearing aids and aural rehabilitation techniques can help in many listening situations. Aural rehabilitation helps a person focus on adjusting to their hearing loss and the use of their hearing aids. It also explores assistive devices to help improve communication. Hearing aids for both ears are typically the norm for most hearing impaired people, but some may need only one hearing aid.
This site provides general information on hearing aids, types of hearing loss, different types and styles of hearing aids, how to get a hearing aid, benefits and safety of hearing aids, hearing aids and cell phones, other products and procedures to improve hearing, and a checklist of steps to remember and consider before purchasing a hearing aids.
This site also includes information on the difference between hearing aids and sound amplifiers that amplify environmental sounds for consumers with no hearing loss. FDA regulates hearing aids, which are intended to compensate for hearing loss. On the other hand, FDA does not consider sound amplifiers to be medical devices when labeled for recreational or other use by individuals with normal hearing. However, certain safety regulations related to sound output levels still apply to these products.
This site provides general information on hearing aids and is not intended to provide medical advice. If you have questions about your health, the best source of information is your hearing health care professional.
How do I get hearing aids?
To get hearing aids, you should first have a hearing evaluation to determine the type and amount of your hearing loss. The process begins with a medical and audiologic examination.
- Medical examination. The medical examination may be performed by any licensed physician including your family doctor or pediatrician, but preferably should be done by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (an otolaryngologist). You will need an examination of your ear, nose, and throat and possibly other testing to rule out any medical reason for your hearing loss, such as infection, injury or deformity, ear wax in the ear canal, and, in rare cases, tumors. You will receive documentation of your medical exam and a statement that says you are a hearing aid candidate.
- Audiological examination. An audiological exam, or audiogram, involves a hearing evaluation by a hearing health professional who specializes in evaluation, non-medical treatment, and rehabilitation of hearing loss (an audiologist) to identify the type and amount of your hearing loss, to determine the need for medical/surgical treatment and/or referral to a licensed physician, and to provide rehabilitation of the hearing loss.