Only one out of five people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one. If you think you might have hearing loss,
visit your doctor. He or she may refer you to an otolaryngologist or audiologist to determine the cause, type, and extent
of your hearing problem and whether hearing aids will help you.
How hearing aids help: Hearing aids are electronic devices that fit inside or behind the ear and help amplify sounds. Hearing
aids are helpful, but they do not restore normal hearing or eliminate background noise.
Choosing a hearing aid: Whether you choose analog over digital, or adjustable over programmable, you and your audiologist
can determine if a hearing aid is the right device for your type of hearing loss. Before purchasing any hearing aid (Medicare
and insurance generally do not cover the cost, which can total $2,000-$3,000), ask if the warranty covers repairs and if there
is a trial period.
Adjusting to a hearing aid: This is a gradual process; it involves learning to listen in a variety of environments and becoming
accustomed to hearing different sounds. If your own voice sounds too loud, your audiologist may or may not be able to correct
this problem. Most people get used to it over time. If you may hear a whistling sound or feedback, see your audiologist. This
could be caused by the fit of the hearing aid or by earwax or fluid buildup.