We all love a good bargain. But when it has to do with your health, be careful what you purchase and pay attention to 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 implications for your hearing and your general health.
What is a hearing amplifier?
A little device that goes in your ear, a hearing amplifier increases the volume of external sound. These tend to be very simple, one-dimensional devices which the government classifies as personal sound amplification devices. A hearing amplifier is like cranking the volume up on the world.
These devices are usually not recommended for individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss because of their one-size-fits-all approach.
Hearing amplifier aren’t hearing aids
It begins 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. Of course, hearing aids are recommended for people 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.
- Hearing aids are specially manufactured to help you process speech. To some extent, that’s the result of the uneven way hearing loss progresses, but it’s also because communication is such an essential function of your hearing. So this function has been prioritized by hearing aid makers who have put considerable resources into improving it. In order to make certain voices can be heard clearly even in a crowded room, state-of-the-art technology and algorithms are bundled inside of modern hearing aids.
- With hearing aids, only particular wavelengths of sound are amplified. That’s because people normally lose their hearing one frequency at a time. Either high-frequency sounds or low-frequency sounds commonly disappear first. Rather than making everything louder, hearing aids work to plug holes in what you’re hearing. This selective approach is a lot more effective for people with hearing loss.
- Hearing aids can be tuned to your environment. The acoustics of any given space will change depending on a lengthy list of variables. These adjustments can even be made automatically with some modern hearing aids. Others can be calibrated using 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 settings, meaning there will be fewer places you want to avoid.
To put it bluntly, correctly managing hearing loss depends on these capabilities. 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. Because amplifiers don’t distinguish between frequencies, if you raise the volume enough to hear what you’re missing, you’ll probably have it up too loud for other wavelengths….and do additional damage. And who wants to do that?
Unless your hearing loss is being caused by earwax, hearing aids and certain surgeries are the only authorized treatment options for hearing loss right now. Dismissing hearing loss and avoiding treatment doesn’t save you money ultimately. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to increase your general healthcare costs more than 40 percent. Fortunately, there are affordable solutions. We can help.