Who doesn’t love finding a good bargain? But when it comes to 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.
A hearing amplifier is a small device that, when put in your ear, increases the volume of the sounds around you. These are generally quite simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like cranking the volume of the world up.
Because of their one-size-fits-all strategy, hearing amplifiers aren’t recommended for people who have moderate to significant hearing loss.
Clear difference between hearing aids and personal amplifiers
Once consumers learn that hearing amplifiers are not suggested for people with even modest hearing loss, the differences between the two devices begin to become pretty stark. Hearing aids, obviously, are encouraged for people with hearing loss.
Both kinds of devices can raise the volume of external sound. The biggest difference between the two devices is how cutting edge that amplification is.
- Hearing aids are specifically manufactured to help you comprehend speech. In part, that’s as a consequence of the irregular way hearing loss develops, but it’s also because communication is such an important function of your hearing. Because of this, hearing aid makers have invested monumental resources into maximizing the clarity of speech above everything else. There are sophisticated algorithms and processes working inside of hearing aids to make sure that, even in a crowded and noisy room, voices come through loud and clear.
- Hearing aids are designed to pick out and boost certain frequencies of sound. Because hearing loss normally progresses wavelength by wavelength. Wavelengths at the higher and lower end of the spectrum are generally the first to go. Hearing aids work to fill in the gaps in your hearing rather than just making everything louder. For people 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 long list of variables. These adjustments can even be made 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 locations because you will be able to hear better in a wider variety of places as your hearing aids make minute adjustments.
Simply put, these capabilities are vital components of properly treating hearing loss. And these are attributes that are not present in the majority of personal hearing amplifiers.
The best deal for your ears
Neglected hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline, not to mention 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 probably have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and damage your hearing further. And who needs to do that?
Right now, the only approved treatments for hearing loss, if it’s not caused by earwax, are certain surgeries and hearing aids. Dismissing hearing loss and bypassing treatment doesn’t save you money long term. General healthcare costs have been shown to increase by over 40% with neglected hearing loss. Luckily, there are affordable solutions. Just ask us.