The simple answer is that you will be able to hear sounds that you have not previously been hearing. You will be able to hear speech over the telephone more clearly. And hearing aids can help you be more alert to your surroundings (think oncoming cars when crossing a street). A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is designed to fit inside or outside the ear and improve your overall hearing. They can be used on one or both ears at the same time and may take some getting adjusted to. As with any medical aid, weigh the pros and cons of hearing aids carefully before making the decision on if they are right for you.
Hearing aids do not improve hearing over time. While they are not a cure for hearing loss, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Hearing Disorders reports that hearing aids can improve the way you hear by giving you a greater sense of different sounds and vibrations and their sources.
As technology has changed, so has the size, effectiveness and selection of hearing aids. Technology has giving hearing aid users a much better and more advanced selection to choose from than ever before.
There are three basic types of hearing aids designed for patients with different needs. In-the-ear, or ITE, hearing aids fit inside the outer ear, and are best used for slight to moderate hearing loss. ITE’s are generally good for a wide range of hearing loss types, but due to their positioning inside the ear they are not often recommended for children as their ears are still growing.
Behind-the-ear, or BTE, hearing aids are the most commonly recognized type of hearing aid. They consist of a small plastic case that fits just behind the ear and the small tube connected to it, which leads inside the ear. While they are a more noticeable option , BTE hearing aids are commonly administered to patients with hearing problems, making fitting and troubleshooting a much simpler process with audiologists than other types of hearing devices.
In-the-canal, or ITC, hearing aids fit completely inside the canal of the ear as their name suggests. These aids can be used with mild to moderate hearing loss and are the least noticeable of the three. These hearing aids can be more costly than BTE hearing aids, but are much less conspicuous.