All hearing aids include a microphone (to receive sound), an amplifier (to increase the strength of the sound), a speaker or receiver (to deliver the sound to the ear) and a battery or power source ( rechargeable cell). Some tiny batteries can provide many hours of power. Hearing aid assistance is either "Monaural" (a hearing aid for one ear), and well over half, (70-80 percent of all hearing aid users) are fitted with "Binaurals" (a hearing aid for each ear) to help maximize speech understanding.
Modern technology has been absolutely miraculous in what it has achieved in hearing instrumentation. Today hearing aids are smaller and more efficient than ever and some are indeed totally hidden. We have many patients who wear hearing aids unbeknownst to even members of their own families. The only way the families know that they have sought some help is by the improvement in their communication skills and the end of frustration and emotional upset that they used to feel in dealing with them.
Years ago, hearing aids were a sign of age and today that is not the case. Approximately 50% of the hearing aids worn now are utilized by people under the age of fifty. It's important to remember that an untreated hearing loss is more a sign of aging than anything else. In other words a hearing loss is much more conspicuous or obvious than a hearing aid.
Generally speaking, there are five broad range types of hearing aids with technological differences available in each.