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Best Hearing Aids in 2020

Our experts have researched 19 hearing aid companies and recommend 12 of the best options for seniors.

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Best for Mild to Moderate Hearing Loss
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Best Online Hearing Test
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Best Concierge Experience
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How We Rated Hearing Aids

Based on nearly 30 years of clinical experience fitting hearing aids from all manufacturers, and hands-on testing of the latest product lines, I rated each provider based on total user experience taking into account fit, affordability, effectiveness, and technology.

The features listed are an aggregate of features available in a given manufacturer’s current line of products, but may not be present at all price points. For a detailed description of each feature, click here.

A Comparison of the Best Hearing Aid Companies

Hearing Aid Company Hearing Loss STD Warranty Max Warranty Return Option Rechargeable Zinc Air LiON Charge Time LiON Life Stream 50% LiON Life Mic Self Test Internet Sale Remote Support Remote Control TV Streamer Remote Mic T-Coil iOS App Android App Tinnitus App Financing
Audicus Mild to Moderate 1 year 2 years 45 Days Yes Yes 3 hours 24 hours 24 hours Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes
Beltone Mild to Moderate 1 year 3 years 30 Days Yes Yes 3 hours 24 hours 30 hours Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No External
Eargo Mild to Moderate 1 year 1 year 45 Days Yes No 6 hours N/A 16 hours Yes Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Bread, Ally, Care Credit
Embrace MIld to severe 2 to 3 years 3 years 45 days Yes Yes 4 hours 16 hours 20 hours Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
GN ReSound Severe to Profound 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 3 hours 24 hours 30 hours No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes By office
Lively Mild to Moderate 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 3 hours 24 hours 16 hours Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes By office
MD Hearing Aid Mild to Moderate 90 days 2 years 45 Days Yes Yes 3.5 hours N/A 18 hours No Yes No No No No No Yes Yes No Affirm
Miracle Ear Mild to Moderate 3 years By office Varies by state Yes Yes 3 Hours 19 hours 16 hours Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No No No By office
Oticon Moderate to Severe 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 3 hours Depends on use 24 hours No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No By office
Otofonix MIld to moderate 1 year 1 year 45 days Yes Yes 4 hours N/A 16 hours Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Phonak Severe to Profound 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 2 hours 11 hours 24 hours Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes By office
Signia Moderate to Severe 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 3 hours 19 hours 16 hours Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes By office
Starkey Moderate to Severe 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 3 hours Depends on use 20 hours No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Widex Moderate to Severe 1 year 3 years Varies by state Yes Yes 4 hours Reduced 16 hours Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes By office
  • 1. Eargo

    Price: $1,860 – $2,950 per pair

    Range: Mild to Severe High-Frequency

    Purchase: Online

    Test: Self-test

    Eargo is very clear about the niche they are after, which is folks with mild to moderate hearing loss. In looking at and test driving their products, I found Eargo to be a perfect solution for a first time, high tech user. They get extra points from me for not trying to fit people they aren’t appropriate for and for being able to offer a rechargeable CIC. Read the full Eargo review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    45 Days 1 year Yes Yes Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 2. MDHearingAid

    Price: $199 to $799 each

    Range: Mild to Moderately–Severe

    Purchase: Online

    Test: Self-test

    MDHearingAid has a great online hearing test and based on my hands-on review and investigation, I like their products for mild to moderate hearing loss. MDHearingAid is also a very affordable option. For people with severe hearing loss, their background noise management and fitting flexibility may not be sufficient. Read the full MDHearingAid review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    45 Days 2 years Yes Yes Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 3. Embrace Hearing

    Price: $599 to $1199 per instrument

    Range: Mild to Severe

    Purchase: Direct to consumer, single payment, or up to 36 monthly installments via Care Credit.

    Test: Online test or upload of your own audiogram

    Embrace provides “white label” versions of Phonak, Unitron, and Reston hearing aids at significantly lower prices than traditional sales channels. For a more hands-on look, head to this year’s Embrace review.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS/Android App
    45 days 3 years Yes Yes Both
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 4. Phonak

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just about average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase: Independent practices, Phonak-owned  Connect Hearing  stores, and VA Audiology

    Test: Traditional

    Phonak gets the prize for measurable improvement in hearing in a difficult setting, making it the audio logic champ of this list.  That said, their best solution, Roger, is priced outside the range of many folks, and their other remote solutions are not quite as good as ReSound’s MultiMic.  Their integration with Advanced Bionics cochlear implants is however better than the ReSound/Cochlear one. Read the full Phonak review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years Yes No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 5. Beltone

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just above the average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Severe

    Purchase: Beltone stores which are mostly independent franchises

    Test: Self-test or in-store

    I have fitted Beltone hearing aids extensively in my clinical practice. ReSound makes current Beltone hearing aids, and so have all the benefits of a “Big 6” company.  As such, they are audiologically able to all types of hearing loss with two caveats. First, even though the hardware is ReSound, the software is proprietary, so they can only be services and adjusted at a Beltone location. Second, the typical partnership between ReSound and Cochlear for those with cochlear and bone-anchored implants is no longer valid.  It’s possible that Beltone-branded wireless accessories will work with Cochlear products, but I don’t have that data. Read the full Beltone review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    30 days 3 years Yes No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 6. Otofonix

    Price: $199 to $649 each 

    Range: Mild to moderate      

    Purchase: Online, single payment or financing

    Test: Online or email your audiogram

    Otofonix is a “hearing amplifier” rather than a hearing aid but provides basic amplification for mild to moderate hearing loss. Overall, Otofonix devices have good build quality and are a great option for those on a very tight budget who spend most of their time in quiet settings talking to only one or two others at a time. Check out our latest Otofonix review for all the details on this provider.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS/Android App
    45 days 1 year Yes Yes Yes (Sona model)
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 7. Lively

    Price: Starting at $1,850 a pair

    Range: Mild to Moderate

    Purchase: Independent Practices

    Test: Traditional

    Lively has modern technology and a lower price point for traditional hearing aids. Also, with a purchase of Lively you have free follow-up access to an audiologist.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years Yes No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 8. Widex

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just about average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase:  Independent practices.

    Test: Traditional

    Widex fills out the “just below top shelf” group.  If a patient was not a potential cochlear implant candidate I’d fit them with a Widex without hesitation.  They get a small blip for performing musicians. Read the full Widex review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years Yes No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 9. Signia

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just about average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase:  Independent practices  and VA Audiology

    Test: Traditional

    Continuing with the “shelf” analogy I’d put Signia on the same shelf as Oticon. Their products cover the full range of hearing loss and a nice group of wireless accessories. They work very well in both low and high tech modes and their rechargeable technology is leading the pack. Read the full Signia review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years Yes No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 10. Starkey

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just about average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase: Independent practices, Starkey-owned stores, and VA Audiology

    Test: Traditional

    Starkey occupies their place next to Signia and Oticon as a company suited to fit all losses with the same cochlear-implant patient caveats. As the only US member of the Big 6, they get Made in the USA points corporate wise, but in reality, a lot of their tech is manufactured overseas. Read the full Starkey review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years No No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 11. ReSound

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run about  average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase: Independent practices and VA Audiology

    Test: Traditional

    ReSound sits squarely on the top shelf for patients of all groups primarily due to their long history of being honest about the reality that nearly everyone with hearing loss will need more than just hearing aids to perform optimally in the real world. Their 2.4 GHz accessories are well built and affordable, and their partnership with Cochlear extends their fitting range to profound. Read the full ReSound review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    By state 3 years No No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 12. Oticon

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just about average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Profound

    Purchase: Independent practices, Oticon-owned  Hearing Life stores, and VA Audiology

    Test: Traditional

    Oticon sits just below the top shelf across all hearing loss with ReSound and has a full product line. While they don’t have a direct partnership with cochlear implant manufacturers, they fully support FM systems and offer telecoils in the majority of their power products and some accessories. Read the full Oticon review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies 3 years No No Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 13. Audicus

    Price: $499 – $899 per ear

    Range: Mild to Severe

    Purchase: Online or Audicus stores

    Test: Self-test

    Based on my hands-on review and discussions with Audicus staff, I would feel comfortable fitting patients with an Audicus for mild to severe hearing loss with the caveat that anyone with a severe loss would need a custom earmold.  One big plus for Audicus is that their premium product is actually a private labeled Unitron, which is a relative of Phonak, making the Audicus a “grandchild” of one of the top products in severe hearing loss. Read the full Audicus review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    45 Days 2 years Yes Yes Yes
    Please scroll to the right for more info.
  • 14. Miracle-Ear

    Price: Not listed, but based on reports from my patients, they run at or just above the average for storefront dispensing of $1,500 to $3,500 per ear

    Range: Mild to Severe

    Purchase:  Proprietary storefront offices

    Test: Online and Traditional

    The current line of Miracle-Ear products is made by Signia, which gives them the toolkit to fit patients from mild to severe hearing loss.  The reason I exclude profound is that this may include patients who wear one hearing aid and one cochlear implant.  Because Miracle-Ear prevents independent audiologists from adjusting their products, there is no way for these “bimodal” patients to get their hearing systems appropriately fine-tuned.

    From a technology perspective, I’m 100% comfortable with this option for most people.  The caveat I have relates to the potential access issues created by the proprietary nature of the Miracle-Ear network.  If you have a local office with a well-qualified dispenser, you’re I good stead.  They did confirm that the company endorses the verification protocol I developed for them in 2009 and assists with ensuring the offices have the equipment and training they need to implement it. Read the full Miracle-Ear review here.

    Return Option Maximum Warranty Online Self-Hearing Test Internet Sale iOS / Android App
    Varies Varies Yes No No
    Please scroll to the right for more info.

How I Recommend Hearing Aids to Patients

I get asked all the time, “what’s the best hearing aid?” As I used to say to my university students, it depends.  When meeting with patients in the clinic, I try to get an idea about their areas of greatest need and then attempt to match features with those needs. Manufacturers print out “Lifestyle Guides” which are in reality sales tools to steer folks into the highest technology level they can afford. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but it’s not at all scientific.

In addition to traditional hearing evaluation, I also perform two additional measures for those considering hearing aids. The Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit (APHAB 2) was developed by Cox and Alexander at the University of Memphis in 1995. This 24 item questionnaire helps me identify the amount of difficulty in four types of listening: Quiet settings (Ease or Listening or EC), Reverberation (RV), Background Noise (BN), and Aversiveness to loud sounds (AV).  These scores can then be compared to a normative database of others with and without hearing loss. The APHAB is available as a PDF download and is also included in the Noah hearing aid software system that nearly all brick and mortar dispensing locations use.

When I look at these scores, I draw lines to specific hearing aid features as follows:

  • The higher the EC scores, the more difficulty the person has hearing in the nest case scenario of a quiet room. This deficit is easily addressed by any hearing aid that has sufficient power. The only products in this review that would screen out at this stage would be those specifically designed for hearing loss less severe than “severe.”
  • The RV and BN scores are very much related, and I typically consider them together. In my experience, if these scores are higher than 50%, I strongly advise remote microphones and TV streamers.
  • AV scores relate to the reality that all people with sensorineural hearing loss experience abnormally rapid growth of loudness perception called recruitment.  Those with AV scores over 50% need some meticulous attention when fitting their hearing aids. For these folks, I make sure that I measure the loudest sounds they can tolerate (called UCL) at all test frequencies. Then I make sure that the hearing aids we consider have adjustment channels very hear the frequencies where their UCL’s are closest to their thresholds.

About three weeks after the initial fitting, I repeat the APHAB, and ideally, all the high scores are lower. If not, then I got some of the feature-matching incorrect.

After the APHAB, I also perform a Quick Speech in Noise (Quick SIN) test 3. This recorded test presents short sentences with increasing amounts of background noise, similar to what you’d hear at a pre-COVID cocktail party.  This test is available as a stand-alone CD and is also built into several popular audiometers. The scoring recommends features that match up with the “Signal to Noise Ratio Loss (SNR Loss).  Like the APHAB, I repeat the Quick SIN once the hearing aids have been fitted.

Another big part of my evaluation is to look at dexterity and how tech-savvy the client is. The first guides discussion about device size, shape, and power (zinc-air vs. rechargeable).  The second opens the door to the discussion of smartphone apps.

Finally, I look at how much tinnitus the patient has and how troublesome it is. I use the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory to measure this before and after addressing it. The American Tinnitus Association has a great online version 4. This score maps to tinnitus sound generators and smartphone apps.

Looking at these factors, I tend to group potential hearing aid users into four categories:

Group 1:

Hearing threshold in mild to moderate range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
ALPHA RV and BN less than 20%
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Quick SIN SNR Loss less than 5 dB
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Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in Normal Range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
Able to use all size Zinc-Air Batteries
675
13
312
10
Uses smartphone and tablets daily
NEVER
OCCASIONALLY
OFTEN
DAILY

Group 2:

Hearing thresholds in mild to moderate range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
APHAB RV and BN between 20% and 50%
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Quick SIN SNR Loss between 5 and 10 dB
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Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in the mild range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
Able to handle size 312, 13 and 675 Zinc-Air Batteries
675
13
312
10
Uses smartphone for calls and tables a few times a week
NEVER
OCCASIONALLY
OFTEN
DAILY

Group 3:

Hearing thresholds in moderate to severe range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
APHAB RV and BN 50%
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Quick SIN SNR Loss between 10 and 15 dB
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Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in moderate range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
Able to handle size 13 and 675 Zinc-Air Batteries
675
13
312
10
Uses smartphone occasionally
NEVER
OCCASIONALLY
OFTEN
DAILY

Group 4:

Hearing thresholds in severe to profound range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
APHAB RV and BN greater than 50%
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Quick SIN SNR Loss greater than 15 dB
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Tinnitus Handicap Inventory in Severe range
NORMAL
MILD
MODERATE
SEVERE
PROFOUND
Able to handle only 675 Zinc-Air Batteries
675
13
312
10
Does not use smartphones or tablets
NEVER
OCCASIONALLY
OFTEN
DAILY

So Doc, How Should I Narrow Down My Choices?

If you’ve gotten this far, you know that level of hearing loss is an important consideration.

  • Group 1 Patients – Eargo
  • Group 2 Patients –  Tie between Audicus, Beltone, and Miracle-Ear
  • Group 3 Patients – Tie between Oticon, Signia, and Starkey
  • Group 4 Patients – Tie between GN ReSound and Phonak

Within each category, there are financial considerations. While I don’t think very many people actively look for ways to spend the most they can for technology, yes, there are folks for whom typical prices are not a real issue. I know of no research that correlates financial resources with the above categories of patient need, so I’ll just leave the pricing and financing information in each summary for your review.

Feature Descriptions and Considerations

Warranty

All hearing aids provide at least a “parts and labor” type of standard warranty.  In traditional hearing aids, this has almost universally been one year from the date of fitting. With new companies getting into the game via internet sales, we’re starting to see shorter standard warranties.

In addition to “if it’s broke, please fix it” coverage, most companies also offer a one-time replacement for loss or damage beyond repair (e.g., dog eats it, Hearing aid vs. lawnmower, etc.) historically called “Loss and Damage: or “L&D.” This typically mirrors the length of the repair warranty. It is not uncommon for there to be a deductible for filing an L&D claim of a few hundred dollars per instrument. If a claim for loss is fulfilled and then the original device is found, it should be surrendered to the manufacturer. If you send that device in for service, it will often be confiscated.

Most traditional companies allow you to purchase additional years of both repair and L&D coverage.

Return Option

Sometimes referred to as a trial period, this ability to cancel the sale and obtain a refund is included in all US state hearing aid sales statutes. Internet-based sales also offer this return option. In a traditional sales model, it is typical for the dispenser to retain a portion of the sale price to cover the time spent between the sale and the return under the assumption that they tried to “get it right” before you cancel the transaction. The maximum ammonium retained is dictated by stature and detailed on the original sale agreement.

iOS Streaming

Also called “made for iPhone,” this feature allows the hearing aid to stream telephone and audio directly from an Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Mac to the hearing aid using the Bluetooth LE protocol without the need for an intermediary device.

Android Streaming

Also called “made for iPhone” this feature allows the hearing aid to stream telephone and audio directly from Android-based smartphones and tablets to the hearing aid using the Bluetooth LE protocol without the need for an external device. At this point, only Phonak can stream to their devices using the “Bluetooth Classic” protocol. Looking at the full range of small, inexpensive Bluetooth LE earbuds on the consumer electronics market, I expect more companies to crack this nut soon.

Rechargeable

The products listed above as rechargeable use Lithium-Ion batteries and plug-in chargers to power the hearing aids.

Zinc-Air

Zinc Air is the traditional power cell used in hearing aids. They are available from dispensers at retail stores and on the Internet, usually at a cost of less than one dollar per cell. Depending on the size, expect them to last between 3 and 14 days.

LiON Charge Time

This is the manufacturer’s reported time to deliver a full charge to the hearing aids.

LiON LifeStream

This number is the manufacturer’s reported use time when using the hearing aids to listen through their onboard microphones as well as stream audio wirelessly. This was generally reported based on 50% of the time streaming, but was often a very vague “it depends.”

LiON Life Mic

This number is the reported use time without streaming. Note that some consumer literature will indicate this as “all-day,” but dispensers have access to a more precise number if needed.

Stock CIC

This indicates if the manufacturer offers a Completely In Canal device that uses a stock sleeve, allowing you to buy it and walk away the same day. Those without this designation will require an ear impression and at least a few days to make and ship a custom CIC.

Self Test

If the manufacturer offers a self-test, either online or within a smartphone app, they will have this box ticked.

Internet Sale

Traditional hearing aids are sold through brick-and-mortar offices. Those with this indicator also, or in some cases, exclusively sell their products online.

Remote Support

All hearing aid companies have websites and toll-free numbers, but this indicates the ability for a dispenser to adjust your hearing aids remotely either via the internet or by sending changes to your hearing aids through a secure connection to your smartphone app.

Remote Control

This indicates that the manufacturer offers a physical remote control for at least some of their hearing aids.

TV Streamer

This indicates that a device is available to connect to your TV that streams the audio signal wirelessly to your hearing aids.

Remote Mic

This indicates the availability of a remote microphone to capture voices and stream them to your hearing aids.

T-Coil

This indicates that at least one device in the manufacturer’s current line up offers a telecoil, which is a universal receiver for hearing loops and other electromagnetic inductance audio systems. These need to be activated and adjusted by the dispenser at the fitting to work correctly.

iOS App

The availability of one or more applications for iPhone, iPad, or iPods. These apps provide a variety of functions, including remote control, education, rehabilitation, and tinnitus management.

Android App

The availability of one or more applications for Android-based smartphones and tablets. These apps provide a variety of functions, including remote control, education, rehabilitation, and tinnitus management.

Financing

Information about the availability of payment plans and other financial assistance for the purchase of hearing aids.

FAQs About Hearing Aids

  • Is a hearing aid going to improve my hearing?

    Hearing loss often takes place because of an obstruction in the canal of the ear. This can come about as a result of ear infections in which the canal experiences swelling. It’s also not uncommon for benign tumors to cause hearing loss. The good news is, an obstruction in the ear canal can often be removed by a professional hearing specialist. Once removed, your hearing may return to normal without any need for a hearing aid.

    If you experience hearing loss because of inner ear damage that impacts your sensory hair cells, you will most likely need a hearing aid to improve your hearing. Such hearing loss is often caused by medications, being exposed to loud noises for extended periods of time, illnesses, injuries, or age.

    Important to note is that it is completely normal for you to experience hearing loss as you age. This is known as presbycusis hearing loss. You can improve this type of hearing loss with the use of one or more hearing aids.

  • How to know whether I need a hearing aid?

    Before shopping for a hearing aid, you should ask yourself if your hearing loss is impacting your daily life. Are you able to keep up with your regular lifestyle? Can you communicate well with others? Do your family members notice that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to? Your answers to these questions will directly impact whether you need a hearing aid. You can also have an audiologist check your hearing to see whether your hearing loss needs treatment through the use of hearing aids.

  • How long does it take to adjust to a hearing aid?

    The severity of your hearing loss combined with the type of hearing aid you choose to wear will impact how long it takes you to adjust to wearing a hearing aid. And while it is the ear that collects the noises going on around you, it is your brain that translates those sounds into something that you recognize. If you don’t treat hearing loss, it may become worse and can lead to atrophy in the auditory part of your brain. It is always important to wear your hearing aids as described by your doctor as this will improve the odds of the device being able to improve your hearing loss.

  • Are all hearing aids rechargeable?

    Hearing aids available on the market today come with either disposable (button) or rechargeable batteries. Devices with disposable batteries tend to be the most popular, however, many manufacturers are starting to produce more hearing aids with rechargeable battery options.

    Hearing aid devices that are rechargeable have the batteries built directly into them. The batteries recharge by docking the hearing aid on a charging dock, much the same as charging a smartphone. If you opt for a hearing aid with disposable batteries, you will have to replace the batteries when they go dead. You may think you can simply switch out disposable batteries for rechargeable ones, but there’s a chance your hearing aid device isn’t compatible with a charging station. If you want a hearing aid device that comes with rechargeable batteries, make sure to purchase one that is specifically designed to work with charging stations.

  • Should I wear one or two hearing aids?

    In most cases, it’s better to wear two hearing aids. This is especially of benefit if you find yourself in noisy environments a lot. With two hearing aids, the signal reaching your ears will arrive at slightly different times, which helps the brain more easily process the speech signal. Plus, if you wear only one hearing aid and sound is coming to you from the other side, then much of the speech signal is lost once it reaches the ear without the hearing aid. This means you may hear two different things. And lastly, with only one hearing aid, you may have a difficult time determining sources of sound, which can alter your sense of direction.

  • How much do hearing aids cost?

    Hearing aids differ in prices, with much of the cost being determined by the technology used in each device. A hearing aid that boasts some of today’s most advanced technology and features will, of course, cost more than a device that only makes use of basic hearing aid technology. On average, though, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 per hearing aid device. If you need a pair of hearing aids, you should plan to spend $3,000 to $7,000.

  • Will hearing aids help with Tinnitus?

    Living with Tinnitus can greatly hinder your quality of life, particularly when it comes to enjoying your surroundings and being fully aware of all the sounds around you. Many people with Tinnitus wear hearing aids because they suffer from hearing loss, and lots of them notice improvements in their symptoms. The devices allow them to hear sounds they miss due to the Tinnitus ringing. And because of the ability to better hear all sounds going on around them, this minimizes Tinnitus symptoms.

  • How do I pay for hearing aids?

    You have several options to check into when paying for hearing aids. If you have Medicare, the only way it will cover hearing aid-related expenses is if you have Medicare Part B and your doctor makes you go through a diagnostic hearing exam that indicates you need a hearing aid. And still, Medicare Part B is only going to cover about 80% of your exam and test costs. It will not cover the cost of the hearing aid device.

    You can, however, possibly tap into financial assistance for a hearing aid if you have Medicare Advantage. It is very important to understand your policy to determine whether it will help with the cost of hearing aids, including the tests, exams, and devices. When you buy a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure to speak with an insurance specialist to ensure you pick a plan that will help cover the cost of your hearing aids. And once you plan to use the insurance for hearing aids, make sure to use an in-network doctor as this will help keep your out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.

    If you’re a veteran, you may be able to get the entire cost of your hearing aids covered through the Veteran’s Administration. You can go by one of your local VA Medical Facility to register with the VA as well as to speak with a representative about whether your VA coverage applies to hearing aids.

  • How long do hearing aids last?

    Most hearing aids last anywhere from four to 10 years. However, just because you purchase a hearing aid with a 10-year expected lifespan doesn’t necessarily mean you will want to use it for that long. About every five years, hearing aid technology becomes much more advanced. This is why a lot of people get new hearing aids every five years.

  • Is it difficult to return a hearing aid?

    A hearing aid may or may not come with a trial period. You should shop for ones that do because during the trial period, you can make a decision for yourself as to whether or not you want to return the hearing aid. You should ask yourself whether the hearing aid helps or hurts your hearing loss. If it hurts it, then return the hearing aid device before the trial is over.

As a practicing audiologist since the 1990’s, Brad Ingrao, AuD has fitted thousands of hearing aids to seniors and people of all ages. Brad is the Official Audiologist for the International Committee on Sports for the Deaf and a well-known speaker. Dr…. Learn More About Brad Ingrao