We all love a good bargain. But when it involves your health, be careful what you buy and pay attention to the small details.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” might seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have significant implications for your hearing and your general health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A hearing amplifier is a little device that, when put in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These tend to be quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. The volume of the world is essentially cranked up.
These devices are typically not suggested for people with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all strategy.
Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers
It starts to become fairly apparent that hearing aids are not the same as hearing amplification devices when you consider that amplifiers are not recommended for people with even moderate hearing loss. Obviously, hearing aids are recommended for individuals with hearing loss.
Both hearing aids and hearing amplifiers make things louder. The primary difference between the two devices is how sophisticated that amplification is.
- With hearing aids, only select frequencies of sound are boosted. Because hearing loss normally progresses wavelength by wavelength. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds typically fade first. Instead of making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. For individuals who have hearing loss, this selective approach is more effective.
- Hearing aids can be calibrated for 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. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. 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.
- Picking out and amplifying speech is one of the primary functions of a hearing aid. To some extent, that’s due to the uneven way hearing loss develops, but it’s also because communication is such an essential function of your hearing. As a result, hearing aid makers have invested significant resources into enhancing the clarity of speech above all else. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to ensure that, even in a crowded and noisy room, voices come through clearly.
Simply put, these capabilities are crucial components of effectively treating hearing loss. And these are attributes that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.
Finding the best option at an affordable price
Untreated hearing loss can bring about cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished ability to hear. Because amplifiers don’t differentiate between frequencies, if you turn them up enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll likely have it up too loud for other frequencies….and damage your hearing further. And who needs to do that?
Right now, the only recommended treatments for hearing loss, if it isn’t a result of earwax, are some surgeries and hearing aids. Ignoring hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money ultimately. Overall healthcare costs have been found to increase by over 40% with neglected hearing loss. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions. We can help.