We all love a good bargain. But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you purchase and keep your eye on the small 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 ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when placed in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. Technically categorized as personal sound amplification products by the government, these gadgets tend to be fairly basic and one-dimensional. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers are not appropriate for people who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.
Distinct difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers
Once people learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices start to become pretty plain. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for individuals with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. But one of these devices has a much higher degree of amplification technology and sophistication.
- Picking out and amplifying speech is one of the primary functions of a hearing aid. Because communication is so essential in our lives and also because of the uneven way hearing loss progresses, this is an essential function. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put substantial resources into improving it. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working within hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy room, voices come through loud and clear.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. There are a number of variables that will determine the specific acoustics of a space. Some hearing aids can adjust to these changes automatically. Other models can be tuned with a smartphone or a dedicated device. By making minute adjustments to the settings of your hearing aid, you’re capable of hearing better in a wider variety of environments, meaning there will be fewer places you want to avoid.
- With hearing aids, only select frequencies of sound are boosted. Because hearing loss usually advances wavelength by wavelength. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are commonly the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the gaps in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. This selective approach is much more beneficial for individuals with hearing loss.
Simply put, these capabilities are crucial components of effectively managing hearing loss. And these are qualities that are not present in the majority of personal hearing amplifiers.
Finding the best solution at an affordable price
Untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished ability to hear. With amplifiers, you’re very likely to do more harm to your hearing as the device doesn’t differentiate frequencies and will most likely turn everything up to unsafe levels. And who needs to do that?
Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only approved treatments 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 found to increase by more than 40% with neglected hearing loss. Fortunately, there are affordable options. We can help.