A hearing aid refers to an apparatus which fits in the ear, and is used for amplifying as well as modulating the sound for the wearer. In earlier times, there were devices such as ear trumpets or ear horns, which were funnel-shaped amplifying cones, which were designed for gathering sound and get it directed to the ear canal. With the development in technology a number of hearing devices have come up, which are far more advanced, and more effective as well.
As it is, whether to wear a hearing aid is not something which you decide, and has to be recommended by a physician. So, if you are facing problem in hearing, then in that case, you should visit a physician and ask him/her, whether you need a hearing aid or not. In case the doctor recommends that you need a hearing aid, then in that case, you can get a hearing aid for yourself.
As far as hearing aids are concerned, these days you have a number of hearing aids that you can choose from. Body-worn aids were the very first kind of hearing aids. Invented by Harvey Fletcher, these aids include a case, which contains the mechanism of amplification along with an ear mold linked to the case with the help of a cord. The case is in the size of a pack of ten cigarettes. Due to their large size, they can amplify sounds rather highly were often the only cure for profound hearing losses. These aids were followed by behind-the-ear aids, which have a small plastic case, which fits behind the ear and amplifies sound to the ear. These devices can be used by people with mild to profound losses.
In-the-ear aids are devices, which fit into the outer ear bowl, are sometimes visible and are custom made so as to fit each individual's ear. These aids may be used in mild to a few severe hearing losses. Apart from these, several latest hearing devices have come up, which are less visible, such as Receiver-In-the-Canal/Ear aids and In-the-canal aids, mini-canal aids, as well as completely-in-the-canal aids. These aids are less visible and a few of them, such as mini-canal aids, and completely-in-the-canal aids are visible, only when a person looks directly inside the wearer's ear.
In case a hearing aid has been recommended to you, by your physician, then the next steps involve selection of a hearing aid for yourself.