Most individuals who would benefit from hearing aids never get them. Many who do are amazed by how much their lives improve.

Don’t get a hearing aid before first having a physician determine that it will improve your hearing.

In shopping for hearing aids, consider only businesses with staff who offer thorough advice and clearly explain your options, provide a wide variety of styles and brands, and have flexible policies that allow you to test out aids and return them at little or no cost if you are not satisfied.

Our Ratings Tables report how area hearing centers were rated by their surveyed customers. For advice, some sellers were rated “superior” by more than 90 percent of their surveyed customers, while others received such favorable ratings from 60 percent or fewer.

Get in writing how long you have to test out any aid you purchase; what charges, if any, you have to pay if you return it; and whether the test period will be extended if, instead of returning the aid, you agree to let the dispenser first try to adjust it to suit you better.

And be sure to shop for price. For one model of hearing aid we found prices among local sellers ranging from $2,195 to $6,140 per pair. For another, prices ranged from $3,400 to $6,650.