Advantages & Disadvantages of Hearing Aids

A hearing aid is a small electronic device that is designed to fit inside or outside the ear and improve 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 to as to whether or not they are right for you.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

High Cost

Hearing aids aren’t cheap. Vital Connections reports that hearing aids can cost anywhere from $500 to $5,000, depending on your level of hearing loss and the type of device your condition requires. While many insurance companies will offer full or partial coverage for hearing aids, those who aren't insured may find the hefty cost a deciding factor against them.

Improvement of Sound Perception

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.

Potential Discomfort

Hearing aids are not always comfortable to wear at first. Talk to your doctor about the discomfort your hearing aid causes if it does not go away after the first couple of weeks. Give yourself breaks when you don't need to be wearing your device to make it easier on your ears for those times when you must wear it.

More Variety

As technology has changed the selection of hearing aids that people have to choose from is bigger and more advanced 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. Hearing Aid Help suggests that they are good for a wide range of hearing loss types, but due to their positioning inside the ear they are not 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.