We all love a good bargain. But you need to be careful and look out for little details when it comes to your health.
The terms “hearing aid” and “hearing amplifier” may seem similar but they are actually entirely different devices. And making the wrong choice could have important ramifications for your hearing and your overall health.
A hearing amplifier is a little 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 devices tend to be quite basic and one-dimensional. A hearing amplifier is like cranking the volume up on the world.
Because of their one-size-fits-all approach, hearing amplifiers are not recommended for people who have moderate to extensive hearing loss.
Hearing amplifier are not hearing aids
Once consumers learn that hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for individuals with even moderate hearing loss, the differences between the two devices start to become rather plain. Obviously, hearing aids are recommended for individuals who cope 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.
- With hearing aids, only specific frequencies of sound are boosted. Because hearing loss frequently advances frequency by frequency. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds generally fade first. Rather than 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.
- Whatever environment you find yourself, your hearing aids can calibrate to it. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a lengthy list of variables. Some hearing aids can fine tune to these changes automatically. A dedicated device or smartphone can tune hearing aids that don’t do it automatically. By making small 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.
- Hearing aids are specially manufactured to help you process speech. Because communication is so central in our lives and also because of the uneven way hearing loss develops, this is an important 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 inside of hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy space, voices come through clearly.
To put it bluntly, correctly treating hearing loss depends on these capabilities. And these are attributes that are not present in most personal hearing amplifiers.
The right deal for your ears
Untreated hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, along with increasingly diminished ability to hear. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you raise the volume 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 wants to do that?
Unless your hearing loss is from earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only authorized treatment options for hearing loss at this time. You won’t save any money long term by failing to get treatment for your hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss has been demonstrated to increase your general healthcare costs over 40%. Luckily, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.