Who doesn’t enjoy getting a good bargain? But when it involves your health, be careful what you purchase and keep your eye on the little details.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong selection could have important implications for your hearing and your general health.
A hearing amplifier is a little device that, when put in your ear, raises the volume of the sounds around you. These are usually very simple, one-dimensional devices which the government categorizes as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like turning the volume of the world up.
These devices are usually not suggested for people with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all strategy.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people with even modest hearing loss, the differences between the two devices start to become pretty stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for people with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers have the ability to increase volumes. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.
- With hearing aids, only select frequencies of sound are boosted. Because hearing loss frequently progresses frequency by frequency. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds commonly fade first. Rather than making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective approach is far more beneficial for people with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. The acoustics of any given place will change depending on a long list of variables. These adjustments can even happen automatically with some modern hearing aids. Other models can be tuned with a smartphone or a dedicated device. You will avoid fewer places because you will be able to hear better in a wider variety of places as your hearing aids make minute adjustments.
- Selecting and amplifying speech is one of the main features of a hearing aid. In part, that’s as a consequence of the irregular way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such a fundamental function of your hearing. Because of this, hearing aid makers have invested enormous resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above everything else. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy room, voices come through clearly.
Bottom line, these features are vital components of properly managing hearing loss. In most cases, personal amplifiers don’t have these features.
The best deal for your ears
Neglected hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, not to mention increasingly diminished hearing abilities. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And that isn’t good for anyone.
Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and some surgeries are the only approved treatment options for hearing loss at this time. You won’t save any money long term by neglecting to get treatment for your hearing loss. General healthcare costs have been shown to increase by more than 40% with untreated hearing loss. Luckily, there are affordable solutions. We can help.