Hearing aids: How to choose the right one (2023)

Hearing aids: How to choose the right one

Many types of hearing aids exist. So which is best for you? Find out what to consider when choosing a hearing aid.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Perhaps you've thought about getting a hearing aid, but you're worried about how it will look or whether it will really help. It may help ease your concerns to know more about:

  • The hearing aid options available to you
  • What to look for when buying a hearing aid
  • How to get used to a hearing aid

Hearing aids can't restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying sounds that you've had trouble hearing.

How hearing aids work

Hearing aid parts

Hearing aid parts

Hearing aids: How to choose the right one (1)

Hearing aid parts

Hearing aids use these parts to help pick up and amplify sound from your environment and channel it into your ear: microphone (detects the sound), amplifier (makes the sound stronger), speaker (sends the sound into your ear so that you can hear it), battery (provides power to the electronic parts). Some hearing aids have a volume control (increases or decreases the volume of the sound) or a program button.

All hearing aids use the same basic parts to carry sounds from the environment into your ear and make them louder. Most hearing aids are digital, and all are powered with a traditional hearing aid battery or a rechargeable battery.

(Video) Hearing Aids Types- How To Choose The Right One.

Small microphones collect sounds from the environment. A computer chip with an amplifier converts the incoming sound into digital code. It analyzes and adjusts the sound based on your hearing loss, listening needs and the level of the sounds around you. The amplified signals are then converted back into sound waves and delivered to your ears through speakers, sometimes called receivers.

Hearing aid styles

Hearing aid styles

Hearing aid styles

Hearing aids: How to choose the right one (2)

Hearing aid styles

Many choices of hearing aid styles are available, including the following: completely in the canal (A), in the canal (B), in the ear (C), behind the ear (D), receiver in canal or receiver in the ear (E), and open fit (F).

Hearing aids vary a great deal in price, size, special features and the way they're placed in your ear.

The following are common hearing aid styles, beginning with the smallest, least visible in the ear. Hearing aid designers keep making smaller hearing aids to meet the demand for a hearing aid that is not very noticeable. But the smaller aids may not have the power to give you the improved hearing you may expect.

Completely in the canal (CIC) or mini CIC

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid is molded to fit inside your ear canal. It improves mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is the smallest and least visible type
  • Is less likely to pick up wind noise
  • Uses very small batteries, which have shorter life and can be difficult to handle
  • Often doesn't include extra features, such as volume control or a directional microphone
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the canal

An in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aid is custom molded and fits partly in the ear canal. This style can improve mild to moderate hearing loss in adults.

(Video) Hearing aids: How to choose the right one? - Dr. Shankar

An in-the-canal hearing aid:

  • Is less visible in the ear than larger styles
  • Includes features that won't fit on completely-in-the-canal aids, but may be difficult to adjust due to its small size
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

In the ear

An in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aid is custom made in two styles — one that fills most of the bowl-shaped area of your outer ear (full shell) and one that fills only the lower part (half shell). Both are helpful for people with mild to severe hearing loss and are available with directional microphones (two microphones for better hearing in noise).

An in-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Includes features that don't fit on smaller style hearing aids, such as a volume control
  • May be easier to handle
  • Uses a larger battery for longer battery life, with several options for rechargeable batteries
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker
  • May pick up more wind noise than do smaller devices
  • Is more visible in the ear than smaller devices

Behind the ear

A behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid hooks over the top of your ear and rests behind the ear. A tube connects the hearing aid to a custom earpiece called an ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This type is appropriate for people of all ages and those with almost any type of hearing loss.

A behind-the-ear hearing aid:

  • Traditionally has been the largest type of hearing aid, though some newer mini designs are streamlined and barely visible
  • Has directional microphones
  • Is capable of more amplification than are other styles
  • May pick up more wind noise than do other styles
  • May be available with a rechargeable battery

Receiver in canal or receiver in the ear

The receiver-in-canal (RIC) and receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) styles are similar to a behind-the-ear hearing aid with the speaker or receiver that sits in the ear canal. A tiny wire, rather than tubing, connects the piece behind the ear to the speaker or receiver.

A receiver-in-canal hearing aid:

  • Typically has a less visible behind-the-ear portion
  • Has directional microphones
  • Has manual control options
  • May be available with rechargeable battery
  • Is susceptible to earwax clogging the speaker

Open fit

An open-fit hearing aid is a variation of the behind-the-ear hearing aid with a thin tube or the receiver-in-the-canal or receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid with an open dome in the ear. This style keeps the ear canal very open, allowing for low-frequency sounds to enter the ear naturally and for high-frequency sounds to be amplified through the hearing aid. This makes the style a good choice for people with better low-frequency hearing and mild to moderate high-frequency hearing loss.

An open-fit hearing aid:

  • Is often visible
  • Doesn't plug the ear like the in-the-ear hearing aid styles, often making your own voice sound better to you
  • May be more difficult to insert into the ear due to the noncustom dome

Additional features

Some optional features of hearing aids improve your ability to hear in specific situations:

  • Noise reduction. All hearing aids have some amount of noise reduction available. The amount of noise reduction varies. Some also offer wind noise reduction.
  • Directional microphones. These are aligned on the hearing aid to provide for improved pickup of sounds coming from in front of you with some reduction of sounds coming from behind or beside you. Some hearing aids are capable of focusing in one direction. Directional microphones can improve your ability to hear when you're in an environment with a lot of background noise.
  • Rechargeable batteries. Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries. This can make maintenance easier for you by eliminating the need to regularly change the battery.
  • Telecoils. Telecoils make it easier to hear when talking on a telecoil-compatible telephone. The telecoil reduces the sounds from your environment and picks up the sounds from the hearing-aid-compatible telephone. Telecoils also pick up signals from public induction loop systems that can be found in some churches and theaters, allowing you to hear a speaker, play or movie better.
  • Wireless connectivity. Increasingly, hearing aids can wirelessly interface with certain Bluetooth-compatible devices, such as cellphones, music players, computers and televisions. You may need to use an intermediary device to pick up the phone or other signal and send it to the hearing aid.
  • Remote controls. Some hearing aids come with a remote control, so you can adjust features without touching the hearing aid. Some hearing aids connect wirelessly to a cellphone and have a cellphone application that allows use of the cellphone as a remote control.
  • Direct audio input. This feature allows you to plug in to audio from a television, a computer or a music device with a cord.
  • Variable programming. Some hearing aids can store several preprogrammed settings for various listening needs and environments.
  • Synchronization. For an individual with two hearing aids, the aids can be programmed to function together so that adjustments made to a hearing aid on one ear (volume control or program changes) will also be made on the other aid, allowing for simpler control.

Before you buy

When looking for a hearing aid, explore your options to understand what type of hearing aid will work best for you. Also:

  • Get a checkup. See your doctor to rule out correctable causes of hearing loss, such as earwax or an infection. And have your hearing tested by a hearing specialist (audiologist).
  • Seek a referral to a reputable audiologist. If you don't know a good audiologist, ask your doctor for a referral. An audiologist will assess your hearing, help you choose the most appropriate hearing aid and adjust the device to meet your needs. If you have hearing loss in both ears, you will get best results with two hearing aids.
  • Ask about a trial period. You can usually get a hearing aid with a trial period. It may take you a while to get used to the device and decide if it's right for you. Have the dispenser put in writing the cost of a trial, whether this amount is credited toward the final cost of the hearing aid and how much is refundable if you return the hearing aid during the trial period.
  • Think about future needs. Ask whether the hearing aid you've chosen is capable of increased power so that it will still be useful if your hearing loss gets worse. Hearing aids do not function indefinitely, but they should last about five years.
  • Check for a warranty. Make sure the hearing aid includes a warranty that covers parts and labor for a specified period. Some dispensers may include office visits or professional services in the warranty.
  • Beware of misleading claims. Hearing aids can't restore normal hearing or eliminate all background noise. Beware of advertisements or dispensers who claim otherwise.
  • Plan for the expense. The cost of hearing aids varies widely — from about $1,500 to more than a few thousand dollars each. Professional fees, remote controls, hearing aid accessories and other hearing aid options may cost extra. Talk to your audiologist about your needs and expectations.

    Some private insurance policies cover part or all of the cost of hearing aids — check your policy to be sure. Medicare doesn't cover the cost of hearing aids for adults. In many states, private insurers are required to pay for hearing aids for children. Medical assistance covers hearing aids in most states. If you're a veteran, you may be able to get your hearing aid at no cost through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Getting used to your hearing aid

Getting used to a hearing aid takes time. You'll likely notice that your listening skills improve gradually as you become accustomed to amplification. Even your own voice sounds different when you wear a hearing aid.

When first using a hearing aid, keep these points in mind:

  • Hearing aids won't return your hearing to normal. Hearing aids can't restore normal hearing. They can improve your hearing by amplifying soft sounds.
  • Allow time to get used to the hearing aid. It takes time to get used to your new hearing aid. But the more you use it, the more quickly you'll adjust to amplified sounds.
  • Practice using the hearing aid in different environments. Your amplified hearing will sound different in different places.
  • Seek support and try to stay positive. A willingness to practice and the support of family and friends help determine your success with your new hearing aid. You may also consider joining a support group for people who have hearing loss or are new to hearing aids.
  • Go back for a follow-up. Specialists may include the cost of one or more follow-up visits in their fees. It's a good idea to take advantage of this for any adjustments and to ensure that your new hearing aid is working for you as well as it can.

Your success with hearing aids will be helped by wearing them regularly and taking good care of them. In addition, an audiologist can tell you about new hearing aids and devices that become available. He or she can also help you make changes to meet your needs. The goal is that, in time, you find a hearing aid you're comfortable with and that enhances your ability to hear and communicate.

(Video) How to Select The Best Hearing Aid? | 6 Key Considerations

Mayo Clinic Minute: Hearing aids not 'one-size-fits-all'

Cynthia Hogan, Ph.D., Audiology, Mayo Clinic

Dr. Hogan: "Hearing aids, because they're digital, can be adjusted over a wide range of hearing loss."

That's one reason why audiologist Dr. Cynthia Hogan says with these devices, one-size-fits-all does not apply.

Dr. Hogan: "So there isn't one best hearing aid for older people versus younger people. We try to choose a hearing aid that's going to fit the person's needs."

Important decisions include whether the device will have rechargeable batteries or ones that need to be replaced, and whether the hearing aid will sit behind or in the ear.

Dr. Hogan: "This is a full-shell, in-the-ear hearing aid. And, so, it fits all into the ear."

One of the benefits of this device is wearers can answer and listen to a phone call as they have their whole life. Some hearing aids can even connect to a person's cellphone.

Dr. Hogan: "They can watch videos or things like that directly from their phone to their hearing aid."

An audiologist like Dr. Hogan can help you sort through all the options and create a personal solution for your hearing problem.

For the Mayo Clinic News Network, I'm Jeff Olsen.

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(Video) DON'T Buy Hearing Aids Until You Watch This! | Premium vs. Advanced Hearing Aid Technology

Sept. 20, 2022

  1. Weber PC. Hearing amplification in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  2. Hearing aids. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/pages/hearingaid.aspx. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  3. Flint PW, et al., eds. Hearing aid amplification. In: Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  4. How to find the right hearing aid for you. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. https://www.enthealth.org/be_ent_smart/how-to-find-the-right-hearing-aid-for-you/. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  5. Rehabilitation and prosthetic services. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/Hearing_Aids.asp. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  6. Age-related hearing loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing-aids. Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.
  7. Hogan CA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. Oct. 6, 2020.

See more In-depth

See also

  1. Hearing loss
  2. High-frequency hearing loss: Can hearing aids help?
  3. Is your hearing at risk?
  4. Mayo Clinic Minute: Can You Slow Down Age-Related Hearing Loss?
  5. Mayo Clinic Minute: Hearing aids not 'one-size-fits-all'
  6. Mayo Clinic Minute: What is hearing loss?
  7. Opera Star's Surgery
  8. How you hear


(Video) Hearing Aids: Which One is The Right One?


How do you know which hearing aid is right for you? ›

Your degree and type of hearing loss will help determine which hearing aid you need. For example, people with severe or profound hearing loss may need a hearing aid that can be customized for the exact sounds they can't hear. But if you have mild or moderate hearing loss, you will have a wider range of choices.

What are some important questions to ask when someone is choosing a hearing aid? ›

12 important questions to ask when buying hearing aids
  • Do the hearing aids really improve my hearing ability?
  • Should I wear two hearing aids if I have hearing loss in only one ear?
  • Which particular hearing is the best for my type of hearing loss?
  • Considering my lifestyle needs, which digital features are available?
2 Mar 2021

What are the 5 best hearing aids on the market? ›

The best hearing aids of 2022 include Jabra Enhance (formerly Lively), Audicus, MDHearing, Phonak, Eargo, and Audien.

Which hearing aid is best for old age? ›

Analog hearing aids are much more simple than digital hearing aids. They convert the sound waves and turn them into an electrical signal. They simply make them louder. They have basic and easy to use controls, so they are one of the best options for seniors.

What is the most comfortable hearing aid? ›

RIC and BTE hearing aids are often considered to be the most comfortable as they minimise any blocked sensation with their small sound transmitters being the only element resting in the ear. Our advancements in technology mean that even glasses wearers enjoy a comfortable fit.

Which is better over the ear or in the ear hearing aid? ›

Owing to their discreteness, in-canal hearing aids might seem like the right choice, but behind the ear hearing aids offer a wider range of hearing amplification, are usually more flexible, and offer many more choices to hear better in noise, connect to your smartphone, or stream the sound from your television directly ...

What is the single most important factor to hearing aid users? ›

The hearing impaired person's motivation to hear well is the single most important factor in determining the success of the hearing aid fitting.

How many channels should a good hearing aid have? ›

Hearing aids usually have between 4 and 24 channels, with 4 channels being the simplest and 24 channels being the most functional to the user.

How do you answer the phone with a hearing aid? ›

You can also use the push-buttons on your hearing aid to answer, reject, and end phone calls directly – without needing to hold and use your phone.

Are cheap hearing aids worth buying? ›

Should I buy an inexpensive hearing aid? Simply put, no — cheap hearing aids are not nearly as good as hearing aids you buy from an experienced hearing healthcare professional who is also adept at fitting and servicing these devices.

What is the price of a good pair of hearing aids? ›

The average cost of a pair of hearing aids can range from $2,000 to $7,000. In August 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids for adults that is expected to improve access and reduce costs.

What is most common style of hearing aids sold today for adults? ›

In the ear (ITE)

ITE hearing aids are possibly the most popular option on the market at the moment. You will need the help of a hearing health professional when you are getting started with a hearing aid like this, as it will need to match the shape of your inner ear.

What is the average lifespan of a hearing aid? ›

Hearing aids can last anywhere from three years to seven — for some people, even longer. Variables affecting this lifespan include how well the instrument is built, how well it's maintained, and how much wear and tear it experiences being worn in your ear for many hours a day.

What is the most common hearing aid? ›

BTE hearing device is the most common out of all the options out there today. These hearing devices are created of plastic and they are very small in size, sitting right behind your ear. A piece of plastic is used to attach the hearing device to a tube, with the earmold fitting inside your ear.

Which is better closed or open hearing aid domes? ›

Open domes are generally ideal for people with mild to moderate hearing loss. Closed domes block more of the ear canal than an open dome, and help amplify low frequency sounds. These often work best for those with moderate hearing loss.

What's the average price of a hearing aid? ›

The average price of an adult hearing aid is about $2,000-$3,000. It can range from $1,000 on up to more than $4,000 for each device, depending on the level of technology.

Should you wear a hearing aid all day? ›

It is recommended to wear hearing aids all of the time; except when you are sleeping, showering, having your hair done, swimming or when in a dangerously loud environment. Be patient and give your brain a chance to adapt to all of the wonderful new sounds of life!

Does wearing a hearing aid affect balance? ›

While there are some conditions that cause both hearing loss and balance issues, the symptoms still need to be treated differently. That means your hearing aid should not affect your balance.

What are the 3 factors that affect hearing loss? ›

Factors that may damage or lead to loss of the hairs and nerve cells in your inner ear include:
  • Aging. Degeneration of inner ear structures occurs over time.
  • Loud noise. Exposure to loud sounds can damage the cells of your inner ear. ...
  • Heredity. ...
  • Occupational noises. ...
  • Recreational noises. ...
  • Some medications. ...
  • Some illnesses.
16 Apr 2021

What is the difference between a regular hearing aid and a digital hearing aid? ›

Which is better, analog or digital hearing aids? Analog hearing aids merely make everything louder, meaning they amplify sound. Digital hearing aids distinguish between background noise and speech. They also double as streaming devices so that you can take phone calls and listen to music or the TV through them too.

What are the features of a good hearing aid? ›

Noise and feedback reduction

There are several ways digital hearing aids adapt to noise. Noise reduction allows the units to increase and decrease the volume in noisy situations, which lets you to hear conversation better. Feedback reduction makes certain that any amplified sound is not picked up by the microphone(s).

What frequency is most hearing loss? ›

High-frequency hearing loss is a condition where people have difficulty hearing sounds between the 2,000 to 8,000 Hertz range.

What frequency is damaging to hearing? ›

For example, exposure to 4000 Hz produced damage in a restricted region of the cochlea and hearing loss for a relatively narrow range of frequencies; exposure to 125 Hz produced wide-spread inner ear damage and hearing loss throughout the frequency range 125 to 6000 Hz.

How far in do I push my hearing aid? ›

Notice the left/right ear marking
  • Place the hearing aid behind your ear.
  • Hold the bend of the tube between your thumb and index finger. The earpiece should point towards the ear canal opening.
  • Gently push the earpiece into your ear canal until the thin tube sits close against the side of your head.

Where can I hold my phone with a hearing aid? ›

Do not hold the earpiece of the telephone against your ear canal (ear hole). Instead, hold the earpiece of the phone against the microphone of the hearing aid. You may need to move the telephone earpiece along the hearing aid to find where you hear best.

Which ear do you talk on the phone with? ›

People reported that they use the right ear because "it sounds better," Seidman says. "If you put a phone to your right ear, 90-plus percent of the messages are going to the left side. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. It is a quicker route to the speech and language centers."

Can a smartphone work as a hearing aid? ›

One study investigated two smartphone hearing aid apps and showed comparable benefit to a conventional hearing aid in terms of amplification and speech-in-noise improvement.

Can cheap hearing aids damage your hearing? ›

Cheap hearing aids lack the advanced noise filters and sudden noise protection features of more expensive models. In fact, cheap hearing aids are capable of producing sudden loud sounds that may damage your hearing further.

What's the difference between expensive hearing aids and cheap ones? ›

Specifically, most quality hearing aids are equipped with noise reduction. This is a handy feature that focuses on the speaker and can elevate the sound of just that conversation. A cheaper hearing aid would instead elevate all surrounding sounds, making it difficult to hear over background noise.

Can you negotiate hearing aid prices? ›

It's also possible to negotiate. Audiologists are sometimes willing to unbundle their services so you don't have to pay for extra services that you to don't need. One survey found that nearly half of hearing aid shoppers who tried to negotiate a lower price were successful.

Are high priced hearing aids worth it? ›

If there are certain features that are extremely important to you, then paying for a more expensive hearing aid might be absolutely worth it. If you don't mind any style or don't need certain upgrades, there may be more affordable solutions that won't waste your money on things you don't need.

Are Costco hearing aids as good as others? ›

Most reviewers find that the hearing aids from Costco are very good, especially for their price. Kirkland, Costco's private label brand, produces one of the most popular hearing aids on the market. Most hearing aids don't allow you to return the product for a refund, but with Kirkland, you can.

Why do hearing aids cost so much money? ›

A large percentage of the cost is due to the amount of research and development needed to continually improve the technology that powers your hearing aid. Each year hundreds of millions of dollars are spent by the hearing industry to make your hearing aids smaller, more powerful, and more natural sounding.

What percent of people over 70 need hearing aids? ›

The rate increases to 8.5 percent for adults aged 55 to 64. Nearly 25 percent of those aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have disabling hearing loss.

Does Medicare cover 2022 hearing aids? ›

No, Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the cost of hearing aids, which includes fittings and hearing exams with the intended purpose of prescribing hearing aids. Depending on your plan, some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage for some types of hearing services, including hearing aids and exams.

Can I live a normal life with a hearing aid? ›

Hearing aids do not cure hearing loss, but in most cases they can help hearing impaired people live normal lives.

What is the easiest hearing aid to use? ›

Analog hearing aids are much more simple than digital hearing aids. They convert the sound waves and turn them into an electrical signal. They simply make them louder. They have basic and easy to use controls, so they are one of the best options for seniors.

Which type of hearing aid is least visible? ›

A completely-in-the-canal hearing aid: Is the smallest and least visible type.

Can I wear just one hearing aid? ›

Can You Wear Just One Hearing Aid? While wearing two hearing aids can be beneficial, it's not always necessary. If a person has hearing loss in one ear and normal or “almost normal” hearing in the other ear, one hearing aid will most likely be recommended.

What vitamins help hearing? ›

If your hearing loss is related to exposure to loud noise, consider vitamins A, C, and E taken alongside magnesium. If your hearing loss is simply an effect of growing older, folic acid may help keep your ears sharp. To reduce noise-induced hearing loss, vitamins A, C, and E coupled with magnesium may be the answer.

What exercises improve hearing? ›

A number of simple hearing exercises have been suggested by audiologists to improve hearing care.
  • Exercises for improving hearing health. Some people just recoil at the word "exercises'! ...
  • 1.Sound Focus through meditation. ...
  • 2.Sound Therapy. ...
  • 3.Singing in the Shower. ...
  • 4.Take Vocal Lessons. ...
  • 5.Aural Rehabilitation.
20 Feb 2017

Which fruit is good for ears? ›

Oranges and other citrus fruits take care of the free-radicals that cause various age-related health issues, including hearing loss and ear infections. The Vitamins such as C and E that are available in oranges will work as best supplements to avoid hearing loss.

What type of hearing aid is best for mild hearing loss? ›

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids

This type of hearing aid, which is in a case, connects to a plastic ear mold inside the outer ear. These hearing aids are generally used for mild to severe hearing loss.

Which hearing aid style is most commonly used for mild hearing loss? ›

Invisible in the canal (IIC)

A wearer places them very deeply in the ears, and they must be removed by tugging on a small pull-out string. "Completely in the canal" CIC are very similar, but don't sit quite so deeply within the ears. These styles are typically fit for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.

Does wearing a hearing aid slow down hearing loss? ›

Answer: No, unfortunately wearing hearing aids does not slow down hearing loss. Their function is to reduce the impact that hearing loss has on your ability to hear and comprehend the sounds around you.

What happens when a normal person wears a hearing aid? ›

When you begin wearing hearing aids, the volume and clarity of sounds can seem jarring for the first few weeks. This happens because your brain is readjusting and learning to recognize a new “normal” level of hearing ability.

How long does it take for your brain to adjust to a hearing aid? ›

It can take up to four months for you to get accustomed to your hearing aids and to really get the most out of them. You will notice small changes right from the start, but it's important to be patient. If you have questions or concerns about your progress, be sure to call your hearing professional for help.

Does your hearing get worse if you don't wear hearing aid? ›

It's important to recognize that hearing loss may gradually decline whether you wear hearing aids or not. If you don't wear hearing aids your ability to hear won't necessarily get worse, but your discrimination of speech is likely to get worse faster than if you were to wear hearing aids.


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