Picture of green piggy bank representing affordable hearing aids and a good deal.

Who doesn’t love finding a good bargain? But when it involves your health, be careful what you buy and keep your eye on the little details.

The names “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually very different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.

Hearing amplifiers

A small device that goes inside of your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of external sound. These tend to be quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is basically turned up.

Because of their one-size-fits-all approach, hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.

Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers

It starts to become pretty obvious that hearing aids aren’t the same as hearing amplification devices when you recognize that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Hearing aids, obviously, are recommended for those who suffer from hearing loss.

Both types of devices are capable of raising the volume of external sound. The biggest difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.

  • Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a lengthy list of factors. These adjustments can even happen automatically with some modern hearing aids. Others can be tuned with a smartphone or a dedicated device. By making small adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re able to hear better in a wider variety of environments, meaning there will be fewer places you want to avoid.
  • Hearing aids are specifically designed to help you comprehend speech. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the irregular way hearing loss develops, this is an important function. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid producers who have put considerable resources into enhancing it. There are state-of-the-art algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy place, voices come through loud and clear.
  • With hearing aids, only specific wavelengths of sound are amplified. Because hearing loss normally progresses wavelength by wavelength. Frequencies at the higher and lower end of the scale are usually the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the holes in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. For people who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.

Bottom line, these features are vital components of effectively treating hearing loss. In most cases, personal amplifiers don’t have these abilities.

Finding the best solution at an affordable price

Along with a decreased ability to hear, neglected hearing loss can also result in cognitive decline. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and damage your hearing further. And that isn’t good for anyone.

Currently, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t a result of earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. You won’t save any money in the long run by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your general healthcare costs more than 40 percent. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.

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References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373077

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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