A hearing aid on a white background.

How well does a hearing aid work?

It’s amazing how technological advancements have made life better for so many people, especially in the world of medicine. Scientists often research this type of technology to see how well they work. With this research, they access the technology’s effectiveness and make improvements. Recently, researchers looked into the hearing aid, hoping to find out if it had lasting effects.

The Purpose of a Hearing Aid

It is common for older adults to lose their hearing. That is why hearing aids were created. They are a solution to a problem that affects plenty of adults. Sounds become louder, speech skills increase, and cognitive understanding improves.

Many who need this hearing technology do not use it. In fact, less than 30 percent of adults over 70 years old use hearing aids. If you expand the age range from 20 to 69, only 16 percent of people who need hearing aids use them.

Testing Different Hearing Aids

The objective of the research was to prove that hearing aids do provide a benefit, no matter what kind. There are generally two types of hearing aids that people buy. The first is customized and created after a consultation with a doctor. The other is cheaper, pre-programmed hearing aid.

Scientists gathered 154 adults, ages 55-79, with hearing loss. They separated them into three groups:

  • Customized group
  • Pre-programmed group
  • Placebo group

People in the placebo group were given aids that provided no hearing benefits. After testing, they found that both the customized and pre-programmed hearing aids were effective. However, people in the customized group were more likely to buy their hearing aids.

Overall, people liked the quality of the customized hearing aid better. When offered the customized hearing aid, the pre-programmed and placebo group were more impressed by its quality. Hopefully, patients with hearing loss will see that hearing aids help, no matter what kind.