It is a small device that helps a person with hearing problems to listen louder and then communicate and participate in daily activities in a better way.

How does it help? (1)

Hearing loss imparts a negative impact on the life of a person. He may feel emotionally shattered due to poor communication and unhealthy relationship with his colleagues and family members. Hearing loss results due to damage in hair cells of the inner ear are called Sensorineural hearing loss. This damage can be the consequence of certain medications, noise injury, aging, and certain diseases.

The actual function of the hearing aid is to magnify the vibrations of sound entering the ear. Undamaged hair cells receive the amplified vibrations and send them to the brain after converting them into neural signals. The severity of hearing loss depends upon the extent of the damage. More amplification of sound vibrations is a need in severe hearing loss to cover the difference. But if the entire inner ear is damaged then the hearing aid is of no use.

Working of hearing aid

  • Battery; that powers up the hearing aid
  • Microphone; that receives sound vibrations from the environment. Some hearing aids have a couple of microphones to cancel out environmental noise.
  • Amplifier; it contains a computer chip. This chip transforms sound waves into electrical waves. Amplifier magnifies the sound according to the need of the person.
  • Speaker; it sends amplified signals to the ear after converting them back into sound waves.

Styles of hearing aid

  1. BTE (behind-the-ear)

It consists of two parts:

  • Plastic case- a hard case person wears behind the ear
  • Plastic ear mold- a person places it in the outer ear.

BTE hearing aid;

  • Possesses directional microphones
  • Provides more efficient amplification
  • Can pick surrounding noise as well
  • It May have a rechargeable battery
  1. ITE (in-the-ear)

It comes in two styles:

  1. One that covers the full shell of the ear
  2. One that covers the lower half-shell of the ear

Both styles are appropriate for people with less to a high degree of hearing loss. They come with directional microphones. An ITE hearing aid;

  • Has features that other styles do not have e.g., volume control
  • Is easier to use
  • Either has a rechargeable battery or a larger non-rechargeable battery for a longer duration
  • Has chances to get clogged with ear wax
  • Is prominent in the ear
  1. ITC (in-the-canal)

It covers the partial ear canal of a person. An ITC hearing aid;

  • Is less prominent in the ear
  • Has features that other styles do not have
  • Has chances to get clogged with ear wax
  1. CIC (complete-in-the-canal)

It is designed in such a way that completely fits in the ear canal. A CIC hearing aid;

  • Is least apparent and smallest type
  • Is effective in avoiding wind noise
  • Has tiny batteries that are problematic to handle
  • Does not have additional features e.g., directional microphones and volume control
  1. Open fit

It is a variation of BTE hearing aid with the receiver-in-the-canal or a thin tube. It keeps the canal wide and allows vibrations with low-frequency to reach the inner ear naturally. It is

  • Prominent
  • Less likely to get clogged with ear wax
  • Often difficult to place in the ear

How to find an appropriate hearing aid

A person suffering from hearing loss must consult an audiologist or otolaryngologist.

  • Otolaryngologist- a physician who has done his specialization in throat, nose, and ear disorders. He investigates the actual reason for hearing loss.
  • Audiologist- hearing health professional. He recognizes the severity of the hearing loss. He also assesses the degree and type of loss by performing different tests. He suggests a hearing aid to the person on the following factors:
    • Type of hearing loss
    • The severity of hearing loss
    • Age
    • Lifestyle
    • Cost of the hearing aid

Top manufacturers of hearing aids (2)

  1. Lively hearing aid

The company launched its website in January 2019. It offers online purchases.


  • Has afforded prices
  • Free consultation
  • Determines the need for aids through online hearing tests
  • Can be controlled with apps for android and iOS


  • No in-person fittings
  • Aids are ineffective for certain levels of hearing loss

Two models of the lively hearing aid are available

  • Battery-powered

Cost: $1850/ pair

Service: 3 years

Warranty: 3 years

  • Rechargeable

Cost: $2400/pair

Service: 3 years

Warranty: 3 years

  1. Eargo Hearing aids

This company comprises hearing professionals and ENT surgeons who have developed highly functional and comfortable hearing aids.


  • Licensed hearing professionals support this company
  • Affordable price plans
  • 50% less costly than traditional hearing aids
  • Completely rechargeable


  • Does not have any model that is effective for profound hearing loss
  • Batteries are not affordable

Some of the Eargo hearing aid models are:

  • Eargo max
    • Has no custom sound profiles
    • Best for mild to moderate hearing problems
    • Cost: $1850 per pair
  • Eargo neo
    • Has custom sound profiles
    • Best for mild to severe hearing loss
    • Cost: $2350 per pair
  • Eargo Neo Hifi
    • Has custom sound profiles
    • Best for mild to severe hearing loss
    • Cost: $2950 per pair
  1. Lexie hearing aid

It is developed by a group named the HearX group that offers less costly and high technology hearing aid.


  • Free trial of 45 days
  • One-time payment
  • Affordable subscription
  • Up to 15% discount is given o monthly subscription


  • No in-person guidance is available on weekends
  • Lacks rechargeable hearing aids


The cost of a pair of hearing aids is $799 (one-time price) and $49 (per month subscription).

  1. Audicushearing aids

It provides BTE and CIC models of hearing aid.


  • Free and accurate online hearing tests
  • A free trial span of 45 days
  • One year guarantee


  • No model is available for profound hearing loss
  • No hearing aid for children

Some of its models are:

  • Dia II
    • Hearing loss: mild to moderate
    • Cost: $39/month
    • Type: BTE
  • Clara
    • Hearing loss: moderate to severe
    • Cost: $49/ month
    • Type: receiver-in-the-canal

Where to buy a hearing aid?

Hearing aids are available online, at pharmacies and medical stores.